The November ride was designated as a Moulton special at the last minute, after Tony Hadland pointed out that the date corresponded almost exactly with the first appearance of the Moulton 40 years ago. Despite the very short notice, we achieved a very good turn out of Origamiists in general and Moultons in particular.
22 enthusiasts were able to meet at The Tearooms in Meriden before the start of the ride, although three were not able to take part in the main ride. Only one was without a cycle of any kind, so if we take account of all the cycles present at various times, there were 20 altogether (one was a Mercian tandem), and of these, 10 were Moultons. Most types of Moulton were represented - early F-frames (including a Stowaway), AMs, APBs and a New Series - no Mark 3s though. The folders consisted of just two makes - Bromptons and Birdys. The weather forecast had been rather poor, which was the reason that Dick Hanson opted for his Brompton instead of his Moulton, and for health reasons I was on a Brompton as well - I could not face the hassle of extracting a Moulton and lugging it down the stairs on Saturday - indeed, on Friday I did not expect to be going to the ride at all. Had Dick and I used our Moultons, the numerical supremacy of Moultons would have been greater.
Our ride took us via familiar roads to Kenilworth, where we made a visit to Mikes Bikes. The only folder they had was a Giant Halfway, on offer at an extremely attractive price. A colleague at work has just bought a single speed Halfway from this establishment, and I'm hoping for a chance to test it in the near future and if I manage to do this, a report will appear in due course on the Folding Society web page. From here we made our way the The Clarendon, an establishment just by Kenilworth Castle. As far as I know, everyone had a good meal - I was sufficiently fragile that I did not feel like eating or drinking, and when I have this particular problem I am better out in the fresh air, or at least not in hot and enclosed spaces. I took a walk round the castle instead. Just before lunch the New Series had picked up a puncture in the front tyre, which was fixed while the others were eating. However, it was at this point that disaster struck. Simon had used the pump from inside the seat tube to re-inflate the tyre, and when he replaced the seat pillar and was tightening the pinch bolt, it snapped, leaving him with no means of fixing the pillar at a sensible height (or stopping it rotating). As he had to cycle back to Rugby, riding all the way standing was not a practical proposition, so while the rest of us made our way back to Meriden, Simon made for Mikes Bikes in the hope that they might have a suitable bolt. He was shepherded by John and Joan Hall on their tandem - they live in Kenilworth, so failing a suitable bolt from Mikes Bikes, they would see if they could find anything suitable in their collection of odds and ends at home. I hope Simon managed to resolve the problem and get back to Rugby, and our thanks to John and Joan for helping.
Our ride back to Meriden was fairly uneventful, though Susan Barlow did have to make a short stop to investigate some strange noises emanating from her Brompton. Five of us then rode back to Hampton in Arden station to catch a train into Birmingham (and beyond) - three Bromptons and two Moultons nicely filled the available luggage space on the 323 electric which was running on this occasion - it would have been a tighter fit if one of the substitute diesels had been operating!
Many thanks to Trevor Batchelor for planning the route and leading the ride, and to everyone who came to the event and made it such an enjoyable day.
PS: I hear from Simon that Mikes Bikes sorted out the broken seat post pinch bolt of his NS free of charge within 5 minutes, and he got back home safely.
Copyright (C)2002 Ferrets Anonymous
Last updated: 10 November 2002