Saturday, 28 July 2012

Pedals to Medals

To coincide with the 2012 Olympics the Coventry Transport Museum have collected together a brilliant group of Bikes and memorabelia which represent Coventry's contribution to competition cycling. For those that aren't familiar with the Museum- it's a fantastic cycling resource which has an extensive collection and offers a free opportunity to get up close to lots of our cycling, motorcycling and motoring history. Alongside the cycle collection, they've a great collection of motorbikes which include Ted Simons (round the world) Triumph and (last time I checked) one of the bikes from Long Way Round .

 I've been itching to get there and finally managed to spend an afternoon there today, here's a few of my favourites.

First up was this lovely 1952 bike made by R.O Harrison, assembled by Tom Bromwich and ridden by Edith Atkins- a brilliant amateur cyclist with a whole raft of records

Next up was a section looking at John Atkins, I'm a massive fan of John Atkins bikes and have yet to find another bike which rides as well as the 1970's John Atkins tourer which I ride most days. Prior to his days in the bike shops (s) he was 12 times (1961-1978) national cycle- cross champion

This is one of the Carlton Cycles which he competed on

 A little further along was the Falcon of Ernie Crutchlow which he'd won the 1980 British Sprint Championship. Ernie did a great interview for the exhibition which you can find here 

What I was most excited about seeing was the Hercules of Eileen Sheridan, who for lots of years has been has been a real personal inspiration. Back when I'd started planning my (currently postponed) two week LEJOG I'd read in wonderment of her own 1954 journey which had taken a little more than 2 days!

There's lots more to see and lots of bits and bikes to ponder over- the exhibition gives a real insight into the contribution local cyclists and manufacturers have made to cycling. The exhibition is on until 14th October 2012 and is well worth the trip, pop down if you get the chance.