Thursday, April 29, 2010

Theme Thursday : Bicycle (Made For Two)

I know I have been posting a lot of old photographs lately, but when I saw the subject for Theme Thursday this week, I couldn't resist what is perhaps my favourite photograph of my mother and father.


Back in the 1930s, my parents were keen cyclists and each weekend they would go off on their tandem, touring the roads of northern England. My mother always used to tell the story of how, one particular day, she got a little saddle-sore and, when they stopped at a red traffic light, she dismounted to stretch her legs. The lights turned green and my father, not noticing that half the motive power was absent, peddled off into the distant, leaving my poor mother sobbing on the curbside. My father used to claim that he got at least three miles down the road before he noticed any difference at all.

Some thirty years later my brother bought a tandem and I managed to get a photograph of them both with it : although they never rode anywhere on it. By the late 1930s their tandem had given way to motor-bikes - and at one stage a motor-bike and sidecar. In the 1940s, us children came along and my father was confined to the bus, but in the fifties he worked his way up through a motor scooter, an old van and eventually a car.

All this talk of a bicycle made for two reminds me of one of my favourite film clips of all time. It is towards the end of Stanley Kubrick's 2001, and HAL the computer is nearing the end of his time. But why did he sing "Daisy" in that unforgettable way? I have found a short clip which explains why, so, as I ride off into the distance, I will leave you with that.



  

14 comments:

  1. how neat that you have both of the pics alan..they would be treasures....have never tried to ride a tandem...

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  2. What a wonderful post! I just love that first photo of your young parents...I can see why it is a favorite. How funny that he rode off without her and didn't even realize it!

    I've always had a fascination for tandems...they look so fun!

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  3. You know, you don't see many tandems these days. I wonder why that is?

    We're thinking alike again, Alan. My post will be talking about the original computer version of "Daisy, Daisy" by Max Matthews, computer music pioneer, at the Bell Labs in 1961.

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  4. What precious photos! I love the way you parents are dressed in that first picture ... matching apart from the socks. At first I thought the hats were backwards ball caps which was surprising given the era, then I realised that they're actually some kind of cloche, which was a bit of a relief.

    The Daisy song brings back teary-happy memories of my Grandfather singing it when I was a little girl.

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  5. Hey! Nice find on th' video, Alan. And right nice photos, as well. tandems do take a bit of getting used to tho, wot? Happy TT sir :)

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  6. Wow, Alan - now THAT was just way cool! All parts of it. Everything.

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  7. Loved the story of being left behind. My step-mother had a similar experience, except it was a motorcycle.

    The clip showing the 1950s computer singing for the first time brings home just how far we have come in 60 years. It boggles the mind.

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  8. What brilliant photos! Lovely post.

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  9. Thanks you for that explanation! Tandems are nice, my parents had one, too. Of course you need to be aware if the fellow on the back is working, or just along for the ride. Sounds like a life lesson to me! -J

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  10. I used to want a tandem in the worst way. Now, a motorcycle with a sidecar is at the top of my list.

    I adore that first picture of your parents. It's a fabulous treasure.

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  11. You and Roy have been having the same train of thought. Lovely shots of your 'olds'. Although, as Jayne says, it's easy to cheat on a tandem and let 'him' do all the cycling haha!

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  12. A bicycle has a freeing experience with it as it as it is quieter than one with the motor. I bet they thought it to be a good way to enjoy the great outdoors. It is a cool photo, and your brother and wife too.

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  13. Great post, Alan.
    I've lost count of how many times I've watched "2001" -- I think it's over fifty by now. And that song always chilled me.

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