Back on board, shellac, twine and Carradice Camper Usefulness

Bike? Check. Beautiful evening? Check. Happy Rider? O yes...
Bike? Check. Beautiful evening? Check. Happy Rider? O yes...

It was with unbridled joy that I climbed back on board Resurrectio for a dreamy ride down into town and along the waterfront yesterday evening. You know, one of those rides were the wind always seems to be behind you and you just want to keep on rolling. I left the house with the intention of maybe riding down to the Pier Head to take in the sights; the Three Graces glowing in the evening sun, the sleek Isle of Man-bound catamaran, rolling gently on the current, the photographers setting up long exposure shots as the sun set. But I just had the urge to carry on, brisk but never hurried. I cycled through Albert Dock and along Otterspool promenade, blissfully traffic-free, all the way to Aigburth before cutting home through Wavertree; all in all, a ride of about 15 miles, by my crude reckoning.

The ride also gave me a chance to take some snaps of my convalescence handicrafts.

Here’s my twined and shellacked bar-tape trim – hemp twine and two coats of amber shellac.

Here’s my twined kickstand – looks nice, in a rustic sort of way, and protects my cranks from knocks.

How about my gear-cable keepers? Much nicer that wrapping the cable inside the tape for a few turns, to my eye.

And here’s my twined aluminium water bottle. This took a lot of hemp twine and a fair old amount of shellac. Grips nicely in the bottle cage and turns an overtly sporty looking item into something altogether more nostalgic.

Here’s a picture of the whole ensemble, glowing in the evening sun (that dipped below the Welsh hills across the Mersey just a few moments later).

And finally, here’s a picture that follow up on my recent Carradice Camper Longflap review, to illustrate its usefulness and load carrying ability. Today I was faced with the prospect of carrying laptop, charger, two video cameras, digital SLR, lunch, commuting gear/tools and a large heavy duty tripod back into work. The quitter in me was reluctantly saying ‘take the car’ but then I thought “Wait a minute…”

So it was; camera bag on back, laptop, lunch and commuting gear in the Carradice, tripod trapped and strapped under the generous lid. All this and there was no need to deploy the Longflap. Once underway I didn’t notice it was there (just had to remember not to squeeze between tight gaps on the way to the station!

Feels good to be back on the (newly beautified) bike.

12 thoughts on “Back on board, shellac, twine and Carradice Camper Usefulness

    1. theeverydaycyclist

      Thanks! It was my first attempt at twining – I was taught by a bona-fide ex-Royal Navy man – AKA my Dad. It’s called ‘whipping’ rather than ‘twining’ in nautical circles, apparently. I’ll post a ‘how-to’ video as soon as I get more competent! The tying-off procedure is different when twining long stuff (e.g. kickstands) rather than short (bar-tape ends).

  1. dexey

    It was also called whipping in Boy Scub circles of the ’50’s/’60’s!
    It is possible to hide the ends completely under the whipping as you pull through. If you are tying off it sounds more like a lashing, but whatever you call it, it looks pretty good :0)

    1. theeverydaycyclist

      Tying-off was a bit a misnomer – I did the ‘loop and pull under’ thing but need to trim/poke under the ends. The rough hemp twine does snag a little compared to smoother cotton twine when pulling under/securing the end. The waxed cotton stuff looks really neat and stays firmly in place but doesn’t take shellac very well…

      I fear I’ve entered into a whole new realm of arts-and-crafts bicycle adornment that will leave most modern cyclists perplexed and bemused 🙂

    1. theeverydaycyclist

      …or perhaps stress that the addition of shellac and twine will give the bike ‘lateral stiffness with a hint of vertical compliance.’

      They say that in bike mags a lot and folk seem to be impressed…

  2. It looks lovely! I’ve done the twine/shellac business to my bar tape in the past, but I like cork tape and the shellac tends to come off easily. So it turns out not to be too practical. Love the look though! I think with the cotton tape you have, it’ll stay on much better.

    1. theeverydaycyclist

      I too tried Cinelli’s natural cork tape with shellac but it didn’t survive the winter too well and didn’t look too good when I reapplied the shellac. However, the cloth tape just looks better and better with each application, a bit like a quality pair of leather shoes after a few years of wear and polishing.

  3. Alcyon

    Grant Peterson, you have much to answer for! I’ve done the twine on the bars, but shall I let you in on a little secret? If the bar tape is shellacked, twine isn’t needed. Even better, one can start the wrap from the stem, looks quite nice actually. When in doubt, take a look at Heine’s Golden Age of the Bicycle.

    To each their own, but the whole twine thing smacks of trying too hard…

    I’m liking your blog!

    1. theeverydaycyclist

      My bars are currently wrapped with plain old black cork tape. Function over form! However when they were cotton tape and shellacked I did indeed wrap the bars from the centre outward to the brakes, then from the bar end up to the brake, creating a wonderful seamless look. Thinking about it, the twine was a mere affectation! Do love the look of skinny bars with cotton tape…

    1. theeverydaycyclist

      I’ve used cotton twine with great success. In fact it gives a neater finish than hemp in my opinion. I’ve also used waxed twine which looks neat too. You can’t shellac the waxed stuff though.

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