The Flying Gate has a new home

2017 marks the year Trevor officially hands over the treasured baton. 

Trevor Jarvis and Liz Colebrook at Bespoked 2017 - Bristol. 

Trevor Jarvis and Liz Colebrook at Bespoked 2017 - Bristol. 

We set off from Shropshire with our whole display packed into just one estate car.

The big deal is...

This is the year Trevor officially instates me as his official framebuilder and marque owner.  Beaumont Bicycle now incorporates TJ Cycles giving a new home to the Flying Gate. I've officially passed my initiation and I'm thrilled to be taking on the ownership of this iconic marque. 

Jim Holland from Brooks came over to see both Trevor and myself earlier this year to interview us and take some photos.  He's just published this work on the Brooks England website and here it is.  Thanks Jim. 

Meanwhile, the goods on show this year are a Beaumont frameset for off-road adventure-loving Physiotherapist Alison and two Flying Gates for enthusiasts Will seen here about to test ride his new complete build and Maxon who will soon take delivery of his track frameset on the display stand.  

 

Will is an audax rider extraordinaire. This is his extraordinary build with my own handbuilt wheels with Sapim CX Ray spokes and custom gearing - verdict - excellent. Thanks Will.

Will is an audax rider extraordinaire. This is his extraordinary build with my own handbuilt wheels with Sapim CX Ray spokes and custom gearing - verdict - excellent. Thanks Will.

Next up is Maxon's track frameset in 631. 

Now Al's new Beaumont frameset - built for 26" wheels and V-brakes but future proofed to fit 650B and disc when her components wear out. Tough brief but fulfilled. I also launched my new headbadge. Thanks to Jonny Keeley for the photo.


Unsung Hero

Bryan Jackson taught me how to framebuild and I would recommend Downland Cycle's residential training course to anyone interested in building from scratch. It's total immersion and with my long experience of working in the cycle industry, I quickly recognise genuine knowledge and sound teaching. The fact that Bryan operates a highly respected Campag Service Centre on site speaks volumes. His technical skills are hard earned and you only get this good if you've lived and breathed it day in day out.

Bryan (right) teaching Andy.

If something isn't going to work, Bryan will tell you straight, but he'll also tell you why and then make sure you get it right. If the metal is too cold he'll tell you, if it's getting too hot he'll tell you....torch too far away...torch too close. Clear instructions are essential as your brain is learning an art as well as a science. There's plenty of time to practice and Bryan also makes sure you take a break as that's all part of the assimilation process (apple donut? Don't mind if I do...)

And what a place to be! Amazing rolling downs - hence the name I presume - take your bike (as if you wouldn't). I cycled every morning before the course and felt like I hit the ground running. Hot showers, fully equipped bunkhouse, WiFi and delicious evening meals served up by both Bryan (yes, he cooks as well but that's another story) and Julie Jackson. Give Julie a ring if you're interested or email her - she's also served her time in the cycle industry - not just anyone rides a multicoloured Brompton with a Brooks saddle.  

So to sum up I will simply say - high standards, generosity and for me... a life changing experience!  Thank you Bryan and Julie.

www.downlandcycles.co.uk 

 

 

Ta..da! (The official launch of Beaumont Bicycle).

On Saturday 9th January, Beaumont Bicycle launches with about 100 friends and family in support at Bishop's Castle Town Hall. 

The scene is set...Blue lotus chai tea in vintage china.  Spikey Blond beer (named after the woman who brewed it) from the Six Bells and Prosecco also in the offing.

The scene is set...Blue lotus chai tea in vintage china.  Spikey Blond beer (named after the woman who brewed it) from the Six Bells and Prosecco also in the offing.

I am delighted to be standing here before you launching Beaumont Bicycle and my new life as a bespoke framebuilder

I also said, "everything I've learnt and everyone I have met has brought me to this point".  I thanked key people who helped me along the way and I explained how unique my skill set is having done my time repairing bicycles, building wheels, advising customers and taking time out to train and work as an Occupational Therapist over the last 30 years. 

 

I understand why people love cycling and I know how to ask the right questions and make the correct adjustments to keep people in tune with their bikes especially if one's body is not as comfortable on two wheels as it used to be.

Trevor reads a postcard from a Flying Gate customer (whose frame I will build).. and he compares the challenges of my role as a framebuilder to Margaret Sanger and her pioneering work on contraception!

Trevor Jarvis of TJ Cycles (far right, but not politically I hasten to add)  and home of the Flying Gate - has asked me to be one of his frame builders. This is a huge honour as this classic marque is highly revered across the world with a very unique following of people who adore its heritage. Trevor was there on the night to explain how our paths crossed and how exciting it is to have someone with my skills on board - as it's not just about the building, it's about the community that develops as a result of getting to know your customer. 

Carrying the torch - Liz with framebuilders past and present (Wes Mason, Tony Revell and Trevor Jarvis).

Carrying the torch - Liz with framebuilders past and present (Wes Mason, Tony Revell and Trevor Jarvis).

Poet and dear friend Bernie Cullen from York opened the launch with a poem written especially 'Bicycle Christening'. My sister Caroline came all the way over from France to sing 'Summertime', but with her new lyrics; "Beaumont bikes...and the pedaling is easy".  Bishop's Castle's very own 'Men from Off' sang a rousing version of their hit 'Route 44' and my website designer and photographer Jonny Keeley sang and played some of his acoustic set. 

What a night! Val, Julie and Anne on the bar were the hostesses with the mostess.

Thank you all for making it a night to remember. 

L'eroica

IMG_5512.jpg

L'Eroica is Italian for Hero. For many years Brits have travelled to Italy to take part in this gruelling annual event on vintage velos. The excitement has now spread to the UK and finds its home in Derbyshire. Last year's event L'Eroica Britannia was an amazing success giving hundreds of us permission to fit toe clips and straps, down tube shifters and dig out that old pair of Cinelli bars (you can't chuck out Cinelli).  This year's event is all set for June 19th - 21st and I have acquired a King of Mercia especially for the occasion. Here's a sneaky close-up - more to follow.