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From the Collection of Evelyn & Alan
Posted: September 29, 2013
Our 1936 CCM Flyte was acquired just a month or so ago. A friend of Alan's saw pictures of a Flyte from the Brantford show on Facebook and said "I know someone who has one of those they're looking to get rid of." We took the drive down to Milton, and was led to this beauty hidden in a Cedar bush where it had been for at least ten years. 
 
 
Our Cadet, and my 1948 Ladies Loop frame were purchased in a lot of about 12 bikes from a nice fellow from Welland on New Years Day of this year. The Cadet was very toasty, but the ladies was mostly complete other than needing wheels and fenders. Alan gave the Cadet a complete restoration, and we had to sacrifice an Imperial for the wheels on my loop frame. 
 
 
 
The 1949 Camelback was given to us by the same friend who found us our Flyte last summer. This bike was also in very rough condition when we got her, and Alan gave her a complete restoration as well. 
 
 
The other two are our favourite of our muscle bikes, a 1968 CCM Charger, and a 1970 CCM Marauder. The Charger was purchased from Jamie McGregor at this past Branford Bicycle Show, and the Marauder was a fluke Kijiji find for a whopping $100 in Kitchener. Both bikes are all original and unrestored.
 
Evelyn & Alan
 
 
 

 

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A Bike Story
Posted: September 28, 2013

A while back noted CCM bicycle collector Ken Martin received a bike from an acquaintance of his by the name of Dan. According to Ken this is how it happened:

Dan, an incurable collector of all things with wheels, was out riding his bike when he came upon a van with an open trailer full of scrap metal about to pull out on the road from his driveway heading for the landfill.  He stopped the vehicle and asked if he could have the severely rusting bike that was on top. "Sure take it" the driver said. Dan went back and got his pickup truck and took it home.  This bike had already met its end, now a more permanent one was just minutes away, only fate had other plans. Here is a picture of that very bike.

This was that rusting heap CCM Motorbike snatched from the jaws of fate now three weeks later reborn and ready for its second life and somehow fitting that it was reclothed in red, symbolic of its warrior past and its determination to live!
I now own this bike.

When Dan restored this bike, he refused to remove the headbadge, instead taped over it and painted around it.  I asked him why he did this and he seemed shocked I would even ask.  "This is the bike's identity, to remove it is a sign of disrespect," said Dan.

Ummmm........OK.  He is eccentric, but in a good way.

Ken Martin

Have a bike (or bikes) with a story to tell send it along and we'll share it with everyone - john.mckenty@sympatico.ca

John  

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Photos of the 2013 Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show courtesy of Greg Chown and David Keough
Posted: September 19, 2013

 

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Dave Brown's 1896 Goold Co. Brantford Model B
Posted: September 06, 2013

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So What Happened After '83? (Part Three)
Posted: September 03, 2013

For the third part in this series, I thought it might be interesting to find out what happened to CCM bicycles after the company was purchased by Procycle in 1983. To that end, I contacted Raymond Dutil, founder and CEO of Procycle, who agreed to answer my questions by email. Although he has told me that the negotiations that led to his takeover of CCM could fill a book, in and of themselves, you will see that Mr. Dutil is, for the most part, a man of a few words. What follows is a transcript of my interview with him. Regards, John

  • Me: When Procycle began in 1977 was it a bicycle manufacturer from the outset?
  • Mr. Dutil: Yes
  •  
  • Me: Did Procycle’s purchase of CCM in 1983 include the factory in Weston?
  • Mr. Dutil:  No
  •  
  • Me: What happened to the inventory of parts and bicycles on hand at the time.
  • Mr. Dutil: Transferred to Procycle St-Georges, Beauce, Québec
  •  
  • Me: How soon after its purchase of CCM did Procycle begin to manufacture CCM bicycles?
  • Mr. Dutil: 2 years after
  •  
  • Me: What set the CCM line apart from the other lines of bicycles being produced by Procycle?
  • Mr. Dutil: We started to offer only to IBD. After we went to mass merchant.
  •  
  • Me: Was the CCM line always manufactured in Canada?
  • Mr. Dutil: Up to 2004 Yes
  •  
  • Me: When and why did Procycle cease production of the CCM bicycle line? 
  • Mr. Dutil: USD/CAD
  •  
  • Me: When did Procycle sell the rights for the CCM bicycle line to Reebok?
  • Mr. Dutil: 2006
  •  
  • Me: Do you know when those rights were transferred to Canadian Tire?
  • Mr. Dutil: No
  •  
  • Me: The making of bicycles in Canada has always been a difficult proposition. What were/are its greatest challenges?
  • Mr. Dutil: Easy access to Asian producers  
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2014 Vintage CCM Calendar
Posted: August 12, 2013

 

2014 Vintage CCM Calendar

 

Send a photo of your favourite pre-1983 CCM bike(s) currently in your possession to john.mckenty@sympatico.ca and we will use them to produce a professional 2014 calendar.

Photos should be sharp, clear and free of clutter. No people in them.

We will need 14 photos - one for each month and one for the front and back cover.

Depending on the number of photos submitted, not all may be used.

Photos should be sent by the end of August in order to have the calendars available in the fall.

Along with the photos, please include a few brief details about the bike - year, model, personal history etc.  

We will produce a limited number of calendars so when they're gone, they're gone.

 

 

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This weekend in Ottawa.....
Posted: August 09, 2013

Cover Photo


 


THIS WEEKEND!  (Fri Aug 9th to Sunday August 11th)
Give your old bike a new life - in Kenya, Africa

What to bring: 

  • Adult-sized Mountain & hybrid bikes in working condition (wide tires, 24” and 26” wheels)
  • Bike tools, repair & patch kits, inner tubes, tires, seats and locks (with keys or combination) 
  • Cash donations to help with transport costs of bikes are appreciated
  • Please note that children’s bikes and bike frames without wheels are not suitable for this project. 
  • Click here for a detailed list of what we need and do not accept

When and Where:

Friday August 9th - 9:30am to 9:00pm
Saturday August 10th -  9:30am to 6:00pm 
*
Sunday August 11th -  10am to 5:00pm

Billings Bridge Centre
main doors (entrance #5)
2277 Riverside Drive, Ottawa
(corner Riverside Drive and Bank in Ottawa South - map)

* Bicycles for Humanity volunteers will be on site on Saturday August 10th between 10am and 1pm to greet donors and provide information the initiative

This year, we will be shipping a Bicycle Empowerment Centre (BEC) - a 40ft shipping container packed with 400 donated bicycles, spare parts and tools, converted into a bike shop on site - to Kibera, Kenya to benefit an orphan care organization.

Through a partnership with Wheels of Africa, B4H will establish the BEC to help empower and engage a community in creating sustainable and responsible economic development in Kenya, while enabling greater mobility in the area for students, workers, and healthcare volunteers.

The BEC will benefit Kijiji Cha Upendo, “Village of Love” in Swahili – a community based organization that cares for and supports over 140 orphans and vulnerable children with programs aimed at meeting the most basic of needs: food, clothing/supplies and education. 

Billing Bridge Shopping Centre has graciously offered their facilities as the bike collection site for this year’s campaign. The drive will be led by the Security Team from Billings Bridge Centre and 20 VIC Management, Inc. property managers specializing in shopping centre management, leasing and development. 

We are so very grateful for the enthusiastic support from the many individuals and organizations who donate funds, goods, facilities and services and to the volunteers who give their time and energy towards helping improve lives!
 

THANK YOU!


P.S. Since the start of our initiative in 2007, we have delivered 7 containers filled with 2600+ bikes along with hundreds of spare parts and tools that benefited over 10 disadvantaged communities in Namibia and Malawi. We've initiated 3 community-based bike shops, created 15 jobs, and enabled improved access to healthcare, education, food, water, employment and social opportunities for thousands - and we did this together with the Ottawa community, as one community to another...  

P.P.S. If you do not have a suitable bike to donate, please consider a monetary donation to help with the transportation costs of the bikes to Africa - online donations are accepted and tax receipts are provided immediately via email. 

To date Vintage CCM has donated $1,000 to the Ottawa chapter of Bicycles For Humanity based on sales of Canada Cycle & Motor: The CCM Story. Thanks to all who have ordered the book and by so doing contributed to this very worthy cause.

 

 
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What was and is to be.....
Posted: July 17, 2013

Photos from the 2013 Canadian Vintage Bicycle Show held on Sunday, June 23

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The above photos are courtesy of Greg Chown.
Be sure to visit Greg at his blog Three Speed Mania.

Greg is also a key organizer for an upcoming event - that being the 2013 edition of the Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show to be held on Sunday July 28. More details here.

Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show 2013 poster

 

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Doc Morton - "Boss of the Bicycle Repair Bench"
Posted: June 27, 2013

From the time of its arrival until the present day the motor car has never been a friendly companion for Canada's cyclists. This was especially true for those inclined to race their bicycle in the streets which in the early days of the 20th Century was just about every young man who had one.

Back in the days when bicycles ruled Canada's roadways, most races, including the well known Dunlop Trophy Race, took place outdoors. The first Dunlop Trophy Race, in fact, was held at Toronto's Woodbine race track in 1894 when the competitors rode a total of 20 miles - five miles around the track and seven and a half miles out the Kingston Road and back again, with the turning point on the Kingston Road being marked by a wooden barrel around which the racers had to circle. 


Racers lining up at the beginning of a Dunlop Trophy Race in 1898
 

Although the race followed the same pattern for the next number of years, by the 1920s it had become increasingly dangerous to do so. In 1922 when Canadian bicycle racer and mechanic Doc Morton revived the Queen City Bicycle Club, two of the club’s best riders, Dave Patterson and Frank Brown, used the familiar route of the Dunlop Trophy Race to train each night.

One evening, however, the two riders were forced to swerve in order to avoid a stalled car. When they did, they met a car coming in the opposite direction. The twenty-year-old Patterson was thrown onto the road and died without regaining consciousness. Brown, who had recently defeated Patterson at the Canadian Championships, suffered a broken left wrist.

It was a tragic reminder of how dangerous bicycle racing had become and a fact that led race promoters, such as Ottawa rider Lea Gault, to face the fact that the end of such events was drawing near.

“I tangled with a tough sergeant of the OPP for staging racing events on the public highways without consent," noted Gault. "In a way his interference may have come at a good time, as I was becoming concerned about the safety of riders sprinting for the finish.” (1)

The final Dunlop Trophy Race to be staged in Toronto was held in 1925. The following year the contest moved to Ottawa in the hope that it would prove to be a safer location. While the Ottawa race was won by Lea Gault aboard a CCM Flyer, the new location was unfortunately found to be no less hazardous than in previous years with the result that the Ottawa race was the last of the longstanding event.


Your intrepid author standing beside the Dunlop trophy.

Shortly after the cancellation of the Dunlop Trophy Race, Canada Cycle & Motor, which for years had been a co-sponsor of the event, came to the rescue of Canada's racing enthusiasts. With the need for an off-road racing venue now increasingly apparent, in 1927, CCM, under the direction of general manager J.W. Gibson, sponsored the construction of a wooden track on Dundas Street in Toronto. Using donated lumber, carpenters were paid by CCM to build the frame, while the riders, themselves, volunteered to lay the boards.

Modelled on the Newark track with six laps to the mile, when finished the Toronto track was known as the "Cycledrome" and became the favoured racing venue of Canada’s leading cyclists of the day, including Torchy Peden, all of whom competed at the track each year for the J.W. Gibson Trophy awarded to the rider who accumulated the most points over the course of the season in both handicap and open events. 

During the ensuing years no one saw more excitement at the Cycledrome than the incomparable William “Doc” Morton (1880 – 1952). Born in England, for years Morton had a close association with CCM and was a stalwart on the Toronto racing scene. It was, in fact, Doc Morton's Massey-Harris bike that enabled Major Taylor to win his first world championship in Montreal back in 1899.

A world class racer in his own right, Morton won the amateur cycling championship at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, in 1901. Then in 1908 he combined with Walt Andrews, William Anderson and Fred McCarthy for a bronze medal in the Men’s Team Pursuit at the London Summer Olympics .

In his book, The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone: The Story of Tom Longboat, author Jack Battens describes how at those same Olympic games in 1908, Morton and his bike ran look-out for Canadian marathoner Tom Longboat.

"From time to time during the next dozen miles, Morton sped ahead to look over the runners among the leading pack," writes Batten.

"They're running as if the devil himself were behind them!" Morton was reported to have said after one such reconnaissance trip. (2)

At one time or another the colourful Morton held just about every bicycle racing championship in Canada, despite the fact, it was said, “he absolutely refuses to train – except on cigarettes – and it takes a man with a club to drive him to bed.” (3)

When his his racing days were over, Doc Morton coached the Canadian cycling teams at the 1926 Olympics in Berlin and the 1928 Games in Amsterdam. It was at the 1928 games that he first met Torchy Peden for whom he'd become a lifelong mentor and friend.

During the thirties when the six-day bicycle races were at the height of their popularity at Maple Leaf Gardens, Doc Morton was a familiar figure down at track level. As the "boss of the bicyle repair bench," it was estimated that during the course of a six-day race Morton fixed on average 2,000 flat tires!

“He can dismantle and reassemble a bicycle faster than any other man in the business, and he has to speed along when these daring riders go tumbling to the track, much to the detriment of wheels, tires and spokes,” wrote well-known Toronto sportswriter Mike Rodden at the time. (4)

Rodden wasn't the only one to take notice of the gray-haired guy with the grizzled countenance. In the mid-thirties another newspaper reporter declared of Morton:

"This busy little chap does everything but build bicycles right in front of you. He repairs all manner of breaks to the wheels and to him can go a large slice of the credit for the success of the game. He's none other than "Doc" Morton of Toronto - bicycledom's surgeon - a doctor of wheels - a chap who in his prime could, and did, outsprint anything on two wheels in Canada." (5)


Torchy Peden awaits words of wisdom from the Doc

Working closely with CCM Morton made the transition from repairing damaged bikes to crafting custom-built frames of his own. Considered to be a work of art, a Morton frame with its hand-filled joints and rider's initials often set in the upper section of the forks, were highly sought after by the top riders of the day. (In an ironic twist years later one of the most famous works of art by noted Canadian painter Greg Curnoe would be one entitled "The Doc Morton Wheel"). 

For many years Morton operated a bicycle shop in the west end of Toronto. At the time, a Doc Morton frame sold for around $150, this at a time when a complete CCM Flyer sold for around $100. Well known Almonte, Ontario, cyclist Les Humphrey has a CCM Flyer with the initial "M" on the frame which he surmises to be the work of  Morton.   

Some years ago noted Canadian bicycle builder Mike Barry was given a couple of Doc Morton bikes by an ex-racer who had competed in the thirties.

One bike was purchased in the late twenties and later fitted with a Simplex derailleur. The other was a tandem that Morton had built for the 1932 Olympics, but was never used.

Barry notes that Morton made large flange hubs machined from aluminum, quite a development for its day according to Barry who points out that at the time most hubs were made of steel. (6)

Doc Morton passed away on March 21st 1952 at the age of  72. Despite the prominent role he had played in the history of cycling in Canada, little mention is made today of the man who was hailed as the "boss of the bicycle repair bench."

1. Quoted in William Humber, Freewheeling: The Story of Bicycling in Canada, Boston Mills Press, p.112
2. Jack Batten, The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone: The Story of Tom Longboat, Tundra Books, 2002  

3. "Doc Morton," Toronto Star, July 15, 1911
4. Mike Rodden, "On the Highway of Sports," The Globe, May 8, 1935
5. Quoted in Ted Harper, Six Days of Madness, Pacesetter Press, 1992, p.34
6. From Mike Barry's blog Bicycle Specialties, January 12, 1911. Go to Mike's blog to see other photos of the Doc Morton bike

 

 

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2013 Canadian Vintage Bicycle Show
Posted: June 24, 2013


'Bumper crop' of vintage bikes

By Michael-Allan Marion, Brantford Expositor

Jamie McGregor, organizer of the annual Vintage Bicycle Show on Sunday at Heritage View Farm on Tutela Heights Road, shows a 1904 Brantford Red Bird 57 Special shaft-drive bicycle. The shaft-drive design had women in mind, so their long dresses would not get caught or soiled in a chain. They were made for only a few years, mainly because the bicycle had no brakes. (Brian Thompson, The Expositor)

Jamie McGregor, organizer of the annual Vintage Bicycle Show on Sunday at Heritage View Farm on Tutela Heights Road, shows a 1904 Brantford Red Bird 57 Special shaft-drive bicycle. The shaft-drive design had women in mind, so their long dresses would not get caught or soiled in a chain. They were made for only a few years, mainly because the bicycle had no brakes. (Brian Thompson, The Expositor)

It seemed almost everyone who walked the field of the 12th Canadian Vintage Bicycle Show either had known its organizer, Jamie McGregor, for years, or wanted to talk to him about a good lead on a bike from some time in their youth.

Or maybe even their parents' youth.

"You'll find what you're looking for right over there," McGregor quickly said Sunday under the bright hot sunshine over Heritage View Farm on Tutela Heights Road across from the Bell Homestead.

He was talking to a man who was looking for CCM model children's bikes.

McGregor simultaneously held in handshake the extended hand of a man who had greeted him warmly, directed him to a group of bikes, where he was sure to find what he was looking for, then patted him on the shoulder.

It was probably the 20th questioning visitor to grip his hand in the last 10 minutes.

"This is a bumper year and we have a bumper crop," McGregor said as the man headed on his way.

"It's nice seeing the diversity we have today," he said of the mix of Canadian and American bicycles, and the enduring popularity of the CCM ( Canadian Cycle and Motor Ltd.) brands.

What was his best vintage model to show?

We walked over to a Brantford Red Bird 57 Special from 1904. It was parked on a bike display ramp bearing all the merchandising display emblems from the time.

The bicycle had a shaft rather than a chain for pedalling.

"That makes it rare," said McGregor.

Among the multitude of wheels were Victorian Penny Farthings, as well as "muscle" bikes and banana bikes from the 1960s, and racing models from most decades.

McGregor pointed to a group of BMX bikes.

The event also had displays that showed the impact of its own age over time.

The BMX brand name was introduced in the early 1970s when kids began racing their bicycles on dirt tracks in southern California. It was their way of aping motocross stars.

"You wouldn't notice it, but they're starting to get old," McGregor mused.

"I guess it means we're getting older, too."

Veteran attendees have identified the show as a place where they're likely to find the parts they need for their handyman projects.

Admittance to the show was a $5 donation to the Stedman Community Hospice and donations for food and drink.

For years, McGregor has used the show as a hospice fundraiser after the facility provided end-of-life care to his father, John, who died there six years ago.

michael-allan.marion@sunmedia.ca

 

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