In the wake of Bike Week I thought now was a good time to show All Things Original what I have been up to recently. In a nutshell, I have been ‘doing up’ antique bicycles. I have been digging oily muddy and unused bicycles out of the shed, away from the car-boot sales and transforming them into pretty shiny happy bikes … Bearing in mind that I know nothing about the mechanics of a bike, doing this project was an experiment from start to finish and therefore, for me was fresh and exciting. Annnnd because I was so pleased with the results I wanted to share the photos and the process with you guys!.
Ingredients to make a nice bike:
One old tatty bicycle
Lots of Sandpaper
A strong housemate to bash off stubborn mud guards (optional)
And about 3 cans of spray paints
Firstly I source a beautiful bicycle in bad condition.. Then I take the bike apart, and try to photograph and bag all the nuts and bolts up in a logical order. Easier said than done! Then I strip all the paint off using paint stripper,(very smelly stuff and a bit burny if you get it on your skin) and masking tape and chrome parts. The fun bit is then designing stencils and choosing spray paints, and this takes me ages to do, because I change my mind so much. Fortunately there is a lot of scope for doing so much on the frames in terms of patterns and prints and a lot of bicycles out there! By the time the bike is sprayed and finished, I have forgotten how it all goes back together, lost the photos I took and it doesn’t seem to make any sense so I take the bike and bits to the nice man in the bike shop to sort it out for me. Job done.
Things I liked
Making rusty parts shiny ( the bikes were more or less covered in it)
Spray painting, sooo much fun :)
Things I didn’t like
Going to Halfords about 50 times to find the right bloody tyre, apparently ‘it’s a size of wheel that is not longer catered for’. Gah.
Having to learn the hard way that pyjamas + bicycle riding = material tangled in pedal and a heap of human in a rose bush
Although the bicycle looks like an extension of my wardrobe the essence of cycling is not lost. Idly riding around towns and parks, or doing circles in your garden (no hardcore mountains for me, thanks) is good for the soul and the environment.
And the sun is STILL shining so I’m off to blast the love handles in style. :)