Hi All, Since I've a few older bikes, a few years ago I decided to join the Veteran Cycle Club (V-CC). (Actually, it should be noted bikes built before 1990 qualify as 'veterans, so it isn't just about high-wheel bikes).
At the time of joining, I decided to sell a bike that I owned which was totally original in every aspect (c.1957). I sold it (NOT via Ebay) but to a fellow member ('Arfur') of the V-CC. He told me that it was very rare to come across a bike in such original condition. He pleaded poverty and stated that he 'really wanted the bike' and wondered if I could make it a bit more 'affordable'.
I actually thought that he was 'short' of money. He chiselled me down in price and in a fit of generosity, thinking that I was doing a fellow member of the V-CC a 'favour', I sold it to him for a massive £75 (Original asking price was only £100 !!!). He told me that he intended to use it for 'club runs' and stated that his friends would be envious of his new steed in such original condition.
He specifically stated to me that "old bikes should be kept 'original'. I told him that I had considered fitting some modern components and he told me that would 'spoil' the bike. I even told him that I intended to do some club runs myself, and looked forward to seeing the bike again - with hindsight, I feel especially 'daft' at having said that. Just 3 days later, I was irritated to see the frame and parts for sale on Ebay. Obviously, he was quite entitled to do so, but I was annoyed that despite him exalting the virtues of 'originality', the profit motive was higher in his list of priorities.
The 'original' fittings were worth more broken up and he ended up selling frame and bits for about £170. So he pulled an entirely original bike apart for the sake of £95 - and he is a member of a cycling club which seeks to promote interest in, and the preservation of, old bicycles ?? Of course, some members will extol the virtues of originality, if it means that they can acquire cheap bikes and sell the parts for a profit to other members.
In the V-CC magazine, a few (usually older) members have commented on how they've (under) sold a bike to a fellow member, only to see it on Ebay a few days later. Yet those who cause the greatest embarrassment to the V-CC are those who mention the subject, not the profiteers.
Thing is, 'Arfur' is a very high profile & respected member of the V-CC and one of the leading members of the (Hereford) branch which is closest to where I live.
I recently contacted another member of the local branch regarding a forthcoming run; he gave me the details and mentioned that 'Arfur' organised a few club runs. I mentioned that I'd already met 'Arfur' and told him of my dealings with him. I stated that I considered it to be all 'water under the bridge' and that I'd be perfectly civil to 'Arfur' if I happened to meet him again.
However, this outspoken slighting of 'Arfur' has caused the other member to feel offended, since they are big mates. Funnily enough, I've been told (privately) by two other V-CC members, that 'Arfur' is well known for his dealings, but he usually doesn't 'cheat' fellow members of the V-CC.
Having the temerity to bring the issue of 'Arfur's' dealings to the surface, has led me to become persona non grata with some members of the local section of the V-CC.
Despite having contacted the other fellow about the forthcoming run, he hasn't responded to my emails.
Have any Retrobikers had experience of the V-CC ?
Furthermore, do I go on the local V-CC run this Sunday ?