MOTOBECANE TOURER

Model CT3

  • Steel frame - Vitus 888 tubes

  • Wheels - 700c x25

  • 21 speed, 7 x 3

  • Dural crankset

  • Dural pedals with toe clips

  • Normandy quick release hubs

  • Hutchinson reflective touring tires

  • Puncture-proof inner tubes (80% efficiency)

  • Dual Dural brake levers

  • Padded touring saddle

  • Front luggage rack with hiker bag

  • Front mounted torch as light

  • Rear luggage rack

  • Full length aluminium mudguards

  • Zefal competition pump

  • Bell

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Around 17 years, I came across the Cyclist Touring Club (CTC) magazine, possibly through the cycling club and I started to buy it regularly. I’d left the cycling club by now as I preferred cycling on my own where there was no pressure to go at a certain speed – I preferred, and do still prefer the journey to the destination.  Each month, I’d read the CTC magazine from cover to cover, reading about all the latest kit and all the stories about people’s adventurous bicycle tours. I would have loved to have been a cycle tourist.  Not brave enough at that age, and really quite a home girl. 

 

I read every specification of every bike mentioned in the CTC magazine looking for my next bike. The bike I eventually chose was a Motobecane 21 speed – three at the front, seven at the back. A proper touring bike, with front and rear pannier racks, handlebar bag, torch, dual breaks, bell, toe clips.  I placed the order with a local bike shop who were dealers for Motobecane and saved up all my money from my Saturday job, where I worked pretty much full time over that particular summer, covering holidays for the permanent staff. I remember it cost £200 - my entire summer’s money pretty much. My mother was astounded that a bike should cost that much.  But it was my research, my dream, my savings.  I collected it at the end of the summer.

I was out every weekend by myself on this bike and tried to draft some friends from A Level college to come and ride with me in the odd afternoon when there were no lectures.  Every weekend after a long ride, I cleaned the bike meticulously.  Each bit of metal including each individual spoke was washed and then polished with AutoSolve, 3-in-1 on the chain and car wax on the frame paint.

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First century – imperial!!

Boyfriend’s started to arrive and I encouraged this particular guy to buy a bike and I promptly signed us up for my first charity sportive.  100 imperial miles from Warwick to Worcester and back. My mum and sister drove the course by car in case we got stuck! It was a great day, loads of cyclists, we didn’t know any of them, but that didn’t matter, we passed a few and a few passed us, each time, words of encouragement were exchanged between all.

University

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I then went off to music college, and of course, the bike had to come with me.  I needed a way of cycling with trumpet, cornet, accessories and of course college books. Mmmm…. Back to the CTC magazine.  I sourced a trailer and had it sent from CTC Godalming Surrey straight to my landlady.  On arriving, I had to put it together and secure it to my bike. It had 2 wheels, the base was chipboard with laminate covering in white with orange and blue logo - CTC colours. It had low sides probably a few inches, certainly not as high sided as the picture above. It attached to the rear wheel axle and my 'luggage' was secured with rubber bungies. What else!!  The first day out to college, I was hurtling along the road fully loaded, cornet, trumpet, large Adidas hold-all with books. Whizzing alongside rush hour traffic, I  decided at the last minute to take a left and go through the park.  I turned left, but the trailer decided to go straight ahead!!!  Whoops! Fortunately, nothing was damaged, nobody was hurt, except for my pride! I just re attached it and continued along my way.  A lesson on checking carefully.  It never happened again.  I do remember cycling, fully loaded, up a hill one year on my way home to new accommodation and overtook one of the lecturers, huffing and puffing up the hill. I must have been pretty fit, and OK at some hills!!

 

I had that bike for over 10 years and must have cycled 10,000’s of miles in the time that I had it.