Welcome to the first and almost certainly last in our self-penned 20 questions series (16 in this case). This article features retrobike’s #1 skip monkey, bin raider and angle grinder operator, the one and only Legrandfromage.
1) Legrandfromage: so, who the hell are you to be doing a ’20 questions’ thing when all you do is wind up people on the site by finding ‘stuff’?
Legrandfromage: I thought it was a funny idea… I live near a recycling centre that has provided some fantastic stuff that people simply throw away. And I dont get out much.
2) LGF: whats you best find?
LGF: In terms of value – a broken Macbook Pro – sold for silly money. In terms of ‘I’ll keep forever’ theres been some Campagnolo stuff that I simply couldnt part with. Theres also been some Hifi gear that I wont part with (my other interest).
3) LGF: Do you worry that people think you go around nicking stuff? Afterall, some of your ‘finds’ have been pretty spectacular.
LGF: Yes, I do worry, alot. I worked in Cash Converters for years and was offered so much hooky stuff. I learnt to spot the idiots – I’ve never knowingly accepted stolen goods. I’ve always bought from Police Auctions or recycling centres. Car boot sales are tricky, but experience helps. Its amazing what people consider rubbish.
4) LGF: do you have a criminal record?
LGF: Funny question, but, no, I dont. Regular CRB checks with my current job show I’ve never been the wrong side of the law. Can we talk cycling stuff now?
5) LGF: Sure, sorry – so, how long have you been rebuilding bikes?
LGF: Back in 1990 -ish a school mate gave me an old touring bike to do up for him. It was one of my best restorations. He was a good friend, I was proud of that rebuild.
6) LGF: whats been your favourite bike?
LGF: My first, nothing can ever reinact those first moments of freedom when you realise that you can actually ride a bicycle.
7) LGF: Ok, what was your next favourite?
LGF: it will have to be the ’93 Zaskar – ‘the eternal rebuild’.
8 ) LGF: whats your current favourite?
LGF: a £12 Norman Fay tourer – its huanted!
9) LGF: How many bikes have you personally owned (for more than a few weeks)?
LGF: about 60 – and 500+ ‘rebuilds/ restorations’ that were sold on.
10) LGF: whats been your favourite ride?
LGF: my local ‘loop’ around Huntingdonshire and the Camel trail in Cornwall.
11) LGF: Group rider or lone cyclist?
LGF: lone cyclist – only child so always out amusing myself – my friends thought I was nuts (I’d cycle the 86 miles to Hunstanton with full camping gear). Being the typical ‘troubled’ teenager, I needed to get away sometimes.
12) LGF: what brought you to ‘RetroBike’?
LGF: looking for parts for the Zaskar. I was very nervous about joining – suddenly finding a site dedicated to the thing you’ve been doing for the last ten years was a bit of a surprise, and quite daunting (I didnt post for nearly a year!).
13) LGF: Why ‘RetroBIKE’?
LGF: Somewhere the slightly ‘geeky’ side of me can go, relax, talk bollocks and keep on the straight and narrow. Other sites seem to be, dunno, not so friendly, non of the idiosyncracies/ character of RB.
14) LGF: So, you’ve been building bikes for years, whats next?
LGF: More riding, especially RetroBIKE meets – always found standing looking at my work but very rarely riding it!
15) LGF: Before you go, what other hobbies/ interests do you have?
LGF: A bizarre collection of early car radio/ cassttes, some became so valuable, I managed to pay for my kitchen with one! And odd bits of Hifi.
16) LGF: Well, thank you for taking the time to do this!
LGF: well, I thought it would be interesting – a bit of blowing your own trumpet never harms anyone!
Legrandfromage skip find