Sunday, 5 August 2012


The bicycle at the rear is the one being referred to in this post.
Whilst cycling the other day I was chatting with my friend Ken about the bike that he originally brought to Australia from Scotland, UK. The conversation was so interesting that I decided to investigate a little further.

Invergowrie to Monileith, Scotland

The bicycle, a 1963 model Triumph, was purchased for 15 pounds in 1974, from it's original owner, in the village of Monileith, a small town on the East Coast of Scotland. The elderly gent who owned the bicycle from new had placed it for sale, due to advancing arthritis in his hands and his inability to ride any longer. It was rather a sad occasion as the old man had tears in his eyes as he handed over the bicycle which he had kept in perfect condition since new. Ken believed that a similar style of bicycle was in use by the Scottish Constabulary at that time to ride the beat.

Invergowrie to University of Dundee, Scotland (4 miles)
The bike was purchased by Ken,  not for social cycling but as a means of commuting from his home village of Invergowrie to the University of Dundee some 4 miles away. As were a lot of the bicycles used for commuting purposes throughout the United Kingdom in those days, this model of Triumph was equipped with Sturmey Archer 3 speed internal gears making them a good choice as they needed little ongoing maintenance.

Cleveland, Qld, Australia

Ken brought the bike with him when he emigrated to Australia in 1976 and it gave him good service here for around 26 years, which when added to the 13 years in the U.K. totals approximately 39 years of service. This  bike was well known to motorists travelling the route from Sunnybank Hills/Sunnybank to the Griffith University, Nathan Campus, during this period. At the same  time he was involved in three accidents, the worst when a car turned in front of him and then ran over his front wheel. Ken wasn't badly injured but the front wheel didn't come off so well as it was pretty badly buckled. He tried to have it repaired but most of the bike shop mechanics just shook their heads until he heard of the 'Wheel Doctor' at Balmoral Bike Shop, who took the project on and was able to successfully straighten the wheel.

I tracked the bike down to Hein Alivier, the manager of the Redland Museum, in Smith Street, Cleveland. Queensland. He indeed knew the bike as he had purchased it from the owner of a local bicycle shop and did a complete makeover of the bike. It was placed in an exhibit of old bikes in the museum prior to  selling it to an interstate collector. He had a photograph of the restored bike on the museum computer and arranged to send me a copy.

My sincere thanks to Hein and staff at the Redland Museum. It was the first time I had visited the museum and was more than pleasantly surprised at the quality of the exhibits on display. Whether you live in or are just visiting Cleveland, it is well worth a visit.

A sincere thank you also to Ken Busfield for relating the story of his well travelled bike!

Cheers and safe cycling,
Jimmy Bee

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