1971 Dawes Galaxy

1971 Dawes Galaxy
Dawes Galaxy on train platform

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Retro art for frame of Dawes Galaxy

When I bought the frame for this 1971 Dawes Galaxy there were two areas on the seat tube that at first glance looked like chrome. Instead they were adhesive strips that were meant to look like chrome. I am sure they were a fair match in their day, but I knew they had to go. One of the basic laws of Art and Design, more honored in the breach that the observance, is Truth to Materials. These strips were not chrome, whereas the fork ends and stay ends were. I plan to either have decals made from Photoshopped artwork, or airbrush a design into the gold areas of the frame where the chrome strips were applied.

In keeping with the age, and with what this bicycle was designed for, I planned an illustration of British cycle touring. Perhaps something referring to the golden age of the Cycle Touring Club of the UK. One style of illustration I really like is that of this British artist, Frank Patterson.

But his art is too detailed, and would never be noticed on a bicycle. I need something bolder, still respecting the history of British cycling circa 1971 and yet not an over-the-top boldness, like the purple and teal splashes of the 1980's. I am thinking of something in two tones, using the green and gold of the Dawes color scheme. Below is a rough mock-up of what I have in mind, but I would need to do lot of work to isolate and simplify the figures, perhaps redrawing the while thing in Illustrator, and perhaps using the gold more in the background. There could be transparent areas on the decal, to let the gold of the frame show through.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The restoration progresses

It's been quite some time since I started this blog, and of course I have been very busy. Slowly, however, I have worked away at the Dawes Galaxy, even if I haven't had time to post about it. Now I intend to bring this blog up to date. The restoration was complete, or complete enough to ride, in the Fall of 2013. How I got to this point, and what is left to do, I will attempt to document.

I have learned a few things along the way. Mainly, that you have to consider the bicycle as a totality when restoring it. How will the pieces fit together? That seems obvious, but it isn't when the bicycle is this old. Not all parts are going to be pristine NOS stuff hoarded by classic bike shops just waiting for you to walk in their door. Techniques that once were common, like fitting cottered cranks are no longer widely known. The proper tires and rims will be more difficult to find than idealists at a political convention. But I am getting ahead of myself.