28 November, 2011

A bunch of flowers

Look at this lovely bunch of flowers! Aren't I a lucky girl?

Yes, I feel so lucky to have been taught how to make my own flowers, that no one need buy me any more, ever again!

I was taught how to make roses and carnations as part of another sugar craft course I did at Tamworth College. Although fiddly, the carnations were a lovely flower to make. I love how delicate they look against the more robust rose.

It's actually a cake...

...a bouquet cake to be more precise!

I ended up giving my Mum the flowers on top of her own birthday cake one year. She still has them stashed in a shoe box somewhere, and ever the embarrassing parent she'll get them out to show her visitors:

"Look at what my daughter made" 


27 November, 2011


No, I'm afraid this isn't a David Bowie based post. I figured I'd just rip off his song title to illustrate the ch-ch-ch-changes (sorry) I've made to my new bike.

The beautiful original cream tyres on my Gazelle were, well, past it. Cracked, dusty and tired there was no way I was going to risk going on an adventure without immediately replacing them. After all, I didn't want to be riding a death trap.

I wanted to replace the old tyres but if possible keep the cream colour as they look lovely against the dark green frame. With the Gazelle being my first vintage bicycle I had no idea where to start looking for replacement tyres, as Tamworth isn't the sort of town to cater for the more traditional bike.

As a regular reader of Lovely Bicycle!, cream tyres feature a lot on Velouria's blog, and Schwalbe Delta Cruisers seem to be the tyre of choice. A quick search on the web confirmed that I could get them in the UK at a reasonable price, so what was I waiting for?

Mucky pup...

Ahem. The cream tyres may be a problem to keep clean - maybe I should've opted for black after all?

Chillin' at the castle

See! You can't even see the dirt from far away!

I made the decision to take the front rack off the bike, which to me, did nothing for the overall look of the Gazelle. Without it, it feels less cluttered and the bike is 100 times more gorgeous, not that it wasn't before mind you! The rear rack is more than enough for me and what I carry, although I may have to get some funky bungee straps to aid with my more bulky cargo.

When I bought the bike the dynamo light was totally knackered so it had to go. I'd like to replace it when I have the time but I need to do a bit of research to see if I can use the original light with a new dynamo set and how best to fit it to the bike.


So, those are the little changes that have been made to my bike so far and I'm quite pleased! What do you think?

Oh, go on then. Here's some David Bowie.

23 November, 2011


The other day I stopped off at the supermarket on my way home from work, locked up the Gazelle and popped in to grab a few bits. Back outside, as I attached the pannier to my bike I noticed a group of young girls on their bmx bikes watching me getting myself ready to head home - feel free to use the picture below as a visual aid. Honestly... this was them.

Yeah, but no, but... what you lookin' at?

Intimidating? Uhh, yes!

As I cycled away I overheard one of the girls comment, "Why would you wanna ride that?"

Forgive me if I'm being stupid, but wtf? Why would I want to ride a bicycle? The girl on a bike really did ask that question. God, I need to get out of this town.

Okay, okay, I'll cut her some slack. The more I thought about this comment from Sharron* she can't have actually meant what I thought she meant, can she? I mean, its fairly obvious why someone would ride a bike. It keeps you fit and healthy and above anything else it's great fun! OH! Sharron must have meant the style of bicycle i.e. upright, traditional and darn beautiful.

It is a fact that 50% of bicycles in Tamworth are of the mountain variety, and the other 50% are bmx bikes. So to 'fit in' in this town should I have opted for a bike that I already own or a bike that I can do sweet jumps on? Well neither, thankyouverymuch.

I'll happily stick to my fabulous new bicycle and hope that I can inspire other ladies in this town to follow suit and see that traditional is not something to be scoffed at.

(*Name has been changed to protect identity)

20 November, 2011

Gazelle Implala

Oh my goodness, it's been an age sice I last posted. The nights are drawing in and winter is definitely on it's way. But...


I'd like to introduce you to my new bicycle! She's a 1975 Gazelle Impala, a bicycle make that I'd only really heard of through Lovely Bicycle! Isn't she a beauty?

As you might know, I'd been dreaming of getting a traditional bicycle for such long time and had been saving hard all summer but with one thing and another I never actually got round to buying one. Looking for cheap books on ebay I found myself once again dreaming about bicycles and typed 'vintage bicycles' into the search bar. There were loads! After an age of searching and a failed bid on a vintage Raleigh I found the bike that would be mine. With my heart racing through the bids I was soon the proud owner of a vintage Gazelle, and at a bargain price to boot! 

Since getting her I had to replace her original cream tyres with some new Schwalbe Delta Cruisers, which I hope will last for years to come, only because I'm a very lazy bike owner. 

I never imagined that I'd find a bicycle on ebay after I had my heart set on a new Pashley, but I would definitely recommend it for those of you that are on a budget. There are some real gems out there, but be prepared to search hard for the right bike for you. I think myself lucky in finding a beautiful bike in such great nick.

So, would you consider buying a vintage bicycle on the internet over a brand new one?

If so, happy bidding and good luck!

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