Turn a corner and there’s another. Battered, sun-baked, ancient. Its Metal frame is worn like a pelt. Camouflaged by dings and dents, chips and scrapes. If it had skin it would be leathery and tanned, like a desert nomad long exposed to the rigours of the sun. The saddle leaks its contents; a comedy sofa, featured in the young ones or spaced and on a refuse tip near you. The tape affords a stay of execution. Faded letters announce proud names: Dawes. Roberts. Raleigh. This one here (here, just here in front of you, blending in, innocuous) sports a light, a monstrous plastic light on loan from another era. The battery must weigh more than the bars it sits upon. These are beautiful bikes, bikes that have a lived a life a thousand times, ridden more roads than its owner can remember and soldier on, a grizzled veteran and faithful friend. Waiting for the next ride down the road. Waiting for the next town. Headed for the sunset.
Hay-on-Wye prides itself on being the town of books. Scrape the surface and you’ll see the town of battered bikes. Image above:
a vintage in the making, Creative metalworks at Bespoked. Top image: Archetypal Hay via Ourworld.