We fellows at the Guvnors Assembly have been around the block a few times with the Guvnor now and it is about time we put pen to paper to share our collective thoughts on the machine.
The nuts and bolts of the bicycle are easy enough to find on the Pashley Guv’nor micro-site but in brief. The Guvnor is hand built in Stratford On Avon out of Reynolds 531 tubing, whilst the bike would never trouble any half decent bikes on the scales the use of quality tubing does at least keep the weight down to “manageable”. The wheels are 28″ Westwood rims, originally designed around the same time the wheel was invented, laced onto Sturmey Archer drum brakes alas no longer made in Blighty. On the back a fellow may have the option of single, three or two speed kick-back, in typical Pashley fashion the kick-back option is not listed on the site. Topping it all off is a rather nice titanium Brooks B17 saddle.
The machines comes in three different sizes, fellow Guvnor rider Dave has expounded at length his thoughts on this matter.
So there you have it, the sum of the parts do not seem particularly exciting, a mix of parts that it is fair to say cannot be found in this combination on any other bike produced today.
Time to be a little more ethereal, first of all the looks, it is fair to say the Guv’nor really is a rather handsome devil and truth be told what usually attracts owners to the bike in the first place, based on a bike from Pashley produced in the 1930’s that we have been assured does exist in a catalogue. The large cream tyres and classic steel double diamond frame gives a look that attracts interest from both dyed in the wool cyclist and casual passer-by alike .
So your interest his been piqued? Inevitably the the bike shop will offer the potential rider (if the potential rider has not already asked) a quick test ride, once the ear to ear grin has subsided a little, the new owner will notice how unique the bike feels through the seat of his pants. A combination of skinny steel tubing, big wheels and a total length not far short of six feet. One often hears folk of yore talking about the mythical “springy” feel of steel the Guvnor has this in buckets, this is not to say the bike wallows but compared to one of these new fangled plastic bikes it is certainly more Bentley than Porsche.
The Guvnor’s natural habitat is of course the jaunt, be it to the public house or one of the GA’s little Jollies, this is not to say the old boy can’t be used for other bike related activities, from memory the Guvnor has been on various sportive, a time trial, at least one l’Etape, long distance touring and short course racing.
Obviously the Guvnor rider is never going to come in first, he will however be the fellow to have doffed his cap numerous times, received words of encouragement from nearly every rider that goes past but at the end of the run he may not have broken any PB’s but he will be thinking “My! that was rather enjoyable”
In short, the Guvnor makes riding a bike good old fashioned fun.