Broken frames, rewards and namesakes in cycling

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cyclist at the CMWC holding his broken Townsend frame

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – From Bristol to Paris and then the frame breaks.. Well, better in Paris than the open road.

“I rode from London to Paris with no problems. And the first day here, on the pavé, and I broke the frame. Now I have to find a welder to fix it for tomorrow.

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cyclist at the CMWC holding his broken Townsend frame

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – From Bristol to Paris and then the frame breaks.. Well, better in Paris than the open road.

“My name is Townsend, the same as the bike, so I had to buy it. I have welded it before, on the rear stays near the brake mount. After that, it was incredibly stiff. Better than a titanium frame.”

Notes: In truth, not a messenger. He heard about the championships and decided to come across with his friends and support them. Part and parcel of being a fixie rider. Frankly, anyone who tours on a fixie amazes me.
This was definitely a low budget trip. I think they had money for the ferry and food. And beer. Little else. When the frame broke, CMWS staff helped him find a welder who could do the repairs, but payment was dodgy. A few euros and a beer, from what he told me. He felt bad, but what are you going to do? Gotta ride. And the frame builder took pity on him and did the repairs for a handshake (and a beer).
Of course, the damage had been done. While one repair had been done, the frame was damaged and it snapped at the headset two days later. I hope he managed to get it home to make repairs – or give it a decent burial.
I have had my share of frame rewelds. I was hit by a  drunk driver in Newfoundland (decades ago). The frame was badly dinged, but I rode it anyway. Even when it broke, I sleeved it in metal and used plumbing tighteners to hold not in place. Then, one day, out on a group ride, the frame broke.
It was repaired, brilliantly, by Michael Mulholland. A Canadian frame builder, and owner, of Cyclops bikes. He was massively supportive of cycling in Canada – well, the world. His bikes were seen at world championships ridden by many nationalities.
He moved his business to British Columbia – and then was diagnosed with cancer and this tremendous brand soon disappeared after his death.
My reworked Cyclops remains with me to this day, the reeled intact and the paint job that screams 1980s remains. Very proud to have a piece of that Canadian history.
I have been posting a few articles on the 2016 Cycle Messenger World Championships in Paris. Over 600 riders were registered for the event, from Alleycat to track events to the main event. Enter CMWC in the search engine and see the total. 
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