The birth of Golden Age Cycles
Member Brian Reid explains
I’m Brian Reid a Banbury Star member who grew up in London. My parents never drove, so the only way to get around was on two wheels, and without any money for servicing or repairs, I soon became adept at repairing, servicing and restoring bikes – including full strip downs and resprays at age 13. After from the customary break from cycling from 15-35 (for girls, alcohol and children), I returned to cycling.
I’ve enjoyed club riding for the last 15 years, firstly with Hemel Hempsted Club, as a Founder Member of Tring Velo, and now with Banbury Star. Never a particularly fast rider, I’m often to be found at the back of the ‘Intermediate’ ride, as an unofficial sweeper, and occasionally in the lower echelons of the time trial results, although I’ve been known to do time trials on bikes that are older than any of the competitors, although my usual steed for club rides is a Look 785. I also have a Look 586 with aero bars and deep section wheels as a fast commuter, a Dirty disco CX bike for getting around town, and a Scott winter bike, (with 30 speed Ultegra), plus a folding Tern for taking on the train, (with titanium bolts, a carbon chain set and ultra-thin inner tubes – every gram counts when you lug the thing up and down stairs all day)!
As well as enjoying riding, I’ve long admired the technologies of cycle design, getting very excited by the technologies of carbon moulding, Lotus track bikes, (remember those?), the Obree’s superman position and so on. From that it was just a small step to appreciating the craftsmanship and details of the older bikes that were rapidly disappearing. At the same time, other enthusiasts around the world were realising the beauty of the older steel bikes, and The Eroica Movement was born – (the word comes from the ‘Heroic’ exploits of the riders of old).
I planned my business and wrote a detailed business plan in 2012 and in 2015, after 25 years of teaching and an abortive three month contract in a London office, I decided the time was right to take the plunge into the world of brazed frames, cotter pins, hexagonal bolt heads, and no monthly payslip. Golden Age Cycles was then established as an on-line business with an exhibition trailer, and when a shop became vacant on the main road through Banbury I jumped at the opportunity. The company was established to cater for the recent growing interest in cycling heritage, specialising in British racing cycles from the 1950’s to the 1990’s, handmade by craftsmen proud to show their name, such as Hetchins, Mercian, Bates and many others.
The only shop specialising in classic lightweights in the UK, (the nearest competitors are in Berlin), Golden Age Cycles source and restore the highest quality machines for discerning new owners, as well as being highly experienced in servicing and restoring customers’ period cycles. They are always interested in purchasing high quality cycles, selling on commission and providing insurance valuations.
Golden Age Cycles is located just along from the Dog and Gun pub and is part shop, part art gallery and part museum and opens on a Wednesday and Saturday.