Life before and after Bricycles
When my marriage fell apart , I turned to my bike and a new cycle came about namely Bricycles the cycle and campaign group of Brighton UK a town by the sea made famous by the Prince Regent, Aubrey Beardsley, Max Miller, books, films ( it was the Hollywood of the twenties ) , and dirty weekends.
When I first arrived , in the early 60s you came from London on the Brighton Belle, a posh Pullman train which served a full English breakfast all for half a crown, not really just love that old money! At the present it is the first and only constituency with a Green Party MP. With two Universities it has become the Hippiest, coolest, trendiest place in the kingdom and the home of the Infinity whole foods Co-op, where I once baked its bread. Pool valley, now a coach stop but was a place this fishing village stored its boats, lives The Mock Turtle a traditional tea shop where I laboured at scones, bread and cheese cakes.
As far as Buddhism is concerned there are more groups than you can shake a prayerwheel at. In fact someone has erected a giant wheel on the seafront , so if your looking for somewhere to sit with an ever changing view .........
There is a rather straight-laced sister town along the Prom , Hove (actually) that was where I started my Veggie Cafe, The Three Rooms, after I retuned from the States.
Though my personal claim to fame, was being part of the Clean Up St. Ann's Wells Gardens from dog poo campaign , but I had better not go there.
Leisurely mid-week rides with wonderful lunch stops . A French adventure on my 1953 Raleigh Superbe . I noticed a chap sorting out his shed and he sold it for £35 on E Bay £300.its a machine that reflects the simplicity and austerity of the period. It had rod brakes, enclosed chain that you never had to replace or oil, a Sturmey Archer 3speed dynohub an infallible piece of kit , all put together to give one the most elegant rides fit for the Vicar. Incidentally this design from the thirties, found its way all over the world. And you surveyed the countryside from its upright position with the knowledge that the British Empire and its products would last for ever.
Around 1983 BC ( before cycle), my first born became an Elfin , a Woodcraft Folk one, and I became a leader and relived my childhood once again without the shrapnel.
So will my memories of this club and its loyal and friendly members, which was recalled this week when I found its newsletter in the Kemp Town Brompton shop ( I had joined the fold ), where I was replacing a damaged tyre from the off roads experience of Tasmania .
My last attempt to inflict the town was when I became a vampire, a blood-sucking variety with the Blood Transfusion Service. Once we were offered the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Metropole, the scene of the Mod film Quadraphenia , next door to the Grand that was bombed, maybe it was the other way round. But wherever it was it WASN'T MY FAULT!
Not long after it was retirement time and a four month European ride convinced me that my future was on two wheels and a tent. Since then it's been uphill and down , alone and accompanied , welcomed and deported, elated and depressed, and everything in between.
So thank you Bricycles and all who ride with her. PLG Tony Golding
Ps, the more psychological amongst you will recognise a slight tendency towards a sense of persecution , don't worry It may never happen!