Creative Friday – {Vintage Bikes by Randy Panda}

WWW.LAURABABB.CO.UK

Creative Friday started as ‘Creative Question Friday’ but in the interest of spreading more creative love around, I’ve decided to broaden things out a bit and feature some other creative types on my blog every week.

I’m really interested to hear how people feel about their creative endeavors, what drives them and how they feel about their work. As we all see the world a bit differently I hope that talking to other creative people about what they do will broaden my own horizons.

If you fancy writing a guest post for me I’d love to have you. Ideally it should be about something creative that you love or something creative that you do. Do you take photos? Do you craft? Do you love art or architecture? Do you knit/make/write stuff? Do you make amazing food? If you do get in touch. If you don’t want to write a freestyle post, I have a list of questions you can answer – easy peasy!

First up is Liam. He restores vintage bikes and possibly has the best business name there ever was: Randy Panda Bikes. Brilliant. Liam’s latest refurbishment has found its way to my very own house as Pete is the new, proud owner.

Here’s what Liam had to say about the restoration.

“The Coventry Eagle is an old gents bike that I found on eBay going for 25 quid. It had a nice look to it with its black lugged frame and original forks. It also had a tired old Brooke’s saddle on it so I knew that it was a very nice bike when it was new.”

“I made the bid and I won the Eagle. I picked him (I really want to call it her but it is definetly a him) up from just outside Bedford and had a quick chat about the bike with the chap selling him.”

“When I got the bike back to start stripping it down it didn’t look in bad condition but under the lights, cables, mud guards and a few years of oil and grease, I started to get the idea that it wasn’t going to be a-quick-clean-and-there-you-have-it.”

“I already had some ideas of the look I wanted from the bike I just had to get stuck into the mechanical side and get it to work. When the stripping was finished I could see the real damage: headset bearings gone, bottom bracket bearings squished (not sure how that happened) and one of the bearing cups cracked, both hubs in need of a lot of TLC. Wheels and paint work in poor condition, but apart from all that it was looking good.”

“The list of parts I could salvage was pretty small, from the front the head badge(which is very cool), the bars, stem, forks, frame and the cranks. Throw in the refurbished hubs and rims and it was nearly a full bike.”

Before:

After:

“Off to the powder coating place and my decision was made the frame and forks would be getting a brilliant white finish.”

“I really wanted to keep a classic look on this bike, so a quick rummage through my bits and bobs and I’d found some great old brake levers and pedals that were just right. So the only bits I needed to source were the grips, one new tyre and a new comfy seat.”

“I really enjoyed building this bike, and I hope its new owner is as happy with the look, I particularly like the black spokes on the cromed rims and hubs.”

I asked Liam how he feels when he’s restoring a bike…

“I get to know the bike really well. When it’s been taken totally to pieces, its like crafting a totally new bike. It’s very satisfying to see it finished then a little sad to see it go, but it does mean I can have fun with the next one.”

What I like about Liam’s creativity is his ability to see potential. Not many of us have the vision to see beyond what something is right now. It takes a leap of faith to invest energy and time into developing something into the best version of itself that it can be.

And the finished article? Here are some pictures that Pete took of the newly restored Eagle, in its new home.

Pop back next Friday for an interview with brilliant Illustrator Andrew Fox.

Laura x
http://www.laurababb.co.uk

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