Having just added some new MKS Sylvan touring pedals and a new brass bell to the Road King, I may have to agree that it’s becoming somewhat like Ted Bullpit’s Holden Kingswood (as suggested by Steven Fleming of Cycle-Space recently). For those unfamiliar with the old Australian TV sitcom “Kingswood Country”, it featured a very basic model Aussie car that was polished, accessorised, and worshipped to an obsessive level as a suburban icon.
It’s true that the Road King began life as a humdrum ten speed Woolworths bike, made in Taiwan in 1984. Yet when I look at it now I think of it as a practical long distance semi-upright occasional commuter (c.25kms one way for me) that is relatively fast, non-lycra and fun, yet can carry a reasonable amount of luggage and still stump up as a kind of off-beat classic with clean, straight lines.
Excluding my own labour and the expensive Li-ion headlight (that I can use on other bikes as well), this bike has cost me less than $AUD400 to get to this stage – about the price of a cheaply made entry level bike shop “broken-backed” looking hybrid beginning with “G”, that doesn’t even have proper mudguards let alone a Brooks saddle…
A young skater on Fernleigh Track recently commented “Nice bike – is it new?”
1984 wasn’t the end of the world … and I haven’t finished yet!