When I was young, I had a mountain bike. Bought from the money I got from my Saturday job. A nice Gazelle Field Cruiser. It was such a bike that was cool and way too heavy for that time. But a real cycler, I was not. Years later, I still wasn't, even when my friends asked me time and time again: hey, Rich, when will you cycle with us? On Sunday, perhaps? 'Me on a race bike?! Of course not, what do you think?!' Until faith brought me together with the passion I now have: cycling as a sport and as work. It could not have been any funnier nor better.
Vintage Bike Factory
My bikes get, just like me, a second chance.
It all started with a trip to South-Africa, where I would raise money by cycling for a good cause. With a trained body and a lot of sponsor money, I went on one of the most beautiful trips I would ever go on, thanks to the fact I was cycling. Because when you cycle, you see the most beautiful spots you would otherwise not see. When will I ever cycle to the Cape of Good Hope again?! At home, the men took me to a round Luik Bastenaken Luik right after I came home: my first classic tour as a cycling tourist! 168 kilometer, 8 hour cycling and climbing. What results came of that? Beside a sore butt, a small addiction to cycling.
Vintage Bike Factory
came to life
It didn't just end with my addiction to cycling, however. After months of sitting at home due to a bankruptcy and a heavy burn-out, I visited the Brugs Beer Museum in Brugge (Belgium). There I saw a custom-made Brugge Triple fixie. No beer, but a bike. That was a bike I was looking forward to building myself, even if it was just to pass the time. So, shortly after, I bought my very first racing bikes. A orange Batavus Champion IC and a Vico Champion IC (at the time part of Gazelle), both from the Seventies in the same exact color to work on.
If you feel lost,
just keep cycling
Slowly but surely I bought more and more bikes. Quite soon my own shed at home became too small. So I moved into a barn of an old acquaintance. In that period I sold my very first bike via Marktplaats (the Dutch eBay). I got the first requests and questions about revisions via Instagram, Facebook and via a befriended bicycle repairman where I still come often. Again I moved, this time to a bigger barn for myself, which is the current Mancave where multiple bicycles are ready to be sold and for a test ride. No one knows where this is going, but I make sure that the vintage bikes I receive, get a second chance, just like me.