Constantine Gibson with Bill Raczkowski who supplied the frame.

Historical cycle club turns heads at Anzac Day race

On Anzac Day the Midland Cycling Club held the Stan Gurney Memorial Criterium Races, in commemoration of Mr Gurney who was a Victoria Cross recipient.
May 2, 2024

WA Historical Cycle Club (WAHCC) treasurer Frank West rides bikes made before the Spanish Flu, while 10-year-old Constantine Gibson had not ridden a bike before Covid-19.

Yet they share a special bond formed at Track Cycling WA's ‘Trackie Tuesday’ at the Midland Velodrome.

“Constantine rolls the boards every week and his enthusiasm and consistency gives us seasoned riders a genuine buzz seeing his journey,” Mr West said.

And quite the journey it’s been for young Constantine, from numerous state titles to a world record on Spring Road in Kalamunda for the youngest ever Everest Basecamp single ride (4424m elevation).
So having nurtured his talent on the track, the historical cycling club went a step further by building Constantine his very own vintage criterium racer.

“For junior races he rides a single speed bike on the mandated gearing for his age group, which actually is an ideal setup for a vintage steel racer,” Mr West said.

The project gained traction when a small enough frame was pulled off WAHCC secretary Bill Raczkowski’s garage wall. Mr West admits even he doesn't know what year it was made – but sometime in the early 1950’s is his estimation.

Another WAHCC member Clive ‘The Mechanic’ Andrews, supplied a couple of his renowned hand-built wheels and an original French Specialites TA crankset, along with the narrow Cinelli handlebars he rode as a junior.

On Anzac Day the Midland Cycling Club held the Stan Gurney Memorial Criterium Races, in commemoration of Mr Gurney who was a Victoria Cross recipient, in front of Midland Bunnings.
In amongst the latest bicycle technology seeking cycling’s fabled marginal gains, Constantine took his first go on the vintage steel racer and was joined by WAHCC members on similar machinery for his warm-up course.

Constantine did them proud, eventually breaking free from a couple of the older kids mid-race to win by half a lap.

“My bike is probably the oldest to win a criterium race in a very long time,” he said, taking out the first event of the day - Junior A.

Constantine then rode the bike to Willing Coffee in Guildford - a big supporter of local cyclists - for a post-race snack before the Anzac Memorial Service in Stirling Square down the road.

He imagines what life was like when the bike was made.

“I'm grateful for our freedoms; I remember feeling the same at the dawn service when we used to live in Canberra.”

For now, Constantine plans to continue racing on his new old toy and enjoy joining some of WAHCC's events.

For further information go to WAHCC's Facebook Page or website

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