To join our community visit our website.

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One of the most interesting things that comes with experience (aging!) is a much greater understanding of the concept of impermanence. Good times come and go, bad times come and go, and the only thing you can truly be sure of is that things will change. No doubt many of you are doing your own reflecting at this interesting time in our history as we seek to understand the whats and whys of COVID-19. This short blog does not attempt to make sense of this, to offer pep talks, or to delve into the geo-political ramifications. Rather, we share a few of our own general observations and reflections on the last few weeks.

The first of these is how widely people find solace in nature. It’s quite amazing how many people have mentioned suddenly noticing robins or larks hopping or chirping, or new buds arriving on trees from one day to the next. As cyclists we love our cool spring rides and from week to week seeing the grey and brown turn to green. This year, perhaps because things are quieter, people seem to be more observant.

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Likewise, poetry seems freshly noticed and appreciated. Friends have mentioned turning off the noise from the relentless 24-hour news cycle and finding space in their routines to rediscover the joy of a good poem. Such moments might not last long before the kids or other distractions reappear. One of the Chater-Lea team remarked the other day how people seemed to be rediscovering childhood hobbies, be it maintaining/restoring bikes, stamp-collecting, model-making or playing games. These respites may not last beyond this crisis, but it’s interesting to see where people seek solace.

This pause has also provided us with an opportunity to reflect on our business. We were due to launch new products, including a double crankset as well as different-sized single 1x chainrings, in May at the now-postponed Bespoked — The UK Handmade Bicycle Show. The delay provides us with a little more time to make small refinements and explore new ideas that likely would not have happened without the space for such thinking. We still hope to share these new products on the website in the coming months although production delays will likely mean availability later in the summer.

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Chater-Lea 1x Chainring and Crank Arms

In the background work on the rebuild of classiclightweights.co.uk continues unabated. Those with a little more time on their hands should not hold off from exploring this incredible resource full of information, images and reminiscences on the amazing history of British bicycle- and component-making. If you have time and a particular interest in a specific British cycling marque, some materials which you would like to share for inclusion on the site, or time to help on this project, please drop a line to info@classiclightweights.co.uk. We would love to talk with you.

Let’s all stay safe, and maintain our social distance while staying in close touch with friends, families and the communities in which we live.

To join our community visit our website.

Written by

Musings on bicycles, manufacturing, business and the revival of Chater-Lea. Established 1890. Re-launched 2019. www.chaterlea.com

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