Once again Rupert Smedley our detail orientated reader and correspondent from the UK has come through with valuable information essential for intrepid US randonneurs and folks hoping to challenge themselves with the successful importation of proper randonneuse for the completion of the hallowed LEL.
“Every punter in the commonwealth is familiar with the ban on low trail randonneuse implemented in 1955 to protect the Jack Taylor factory and the thousands of employees working there from cheap French imports of Herse and Singer cycles and the diseases they carry. Unfortunately the rider information packet for LEL for intrepid randonneurs and folks from outside the Commonwealth does not provide guidance for individuals desiring to bring their personal low-trail cycle to the UK with the consequence of their confiscation, the fines, and ultimately the humiliation and forced use of a Moulton to complete the randonnee. I myself witnessed several individuals and folks forced to ride Moulton F frame cycles. Not only do the riders suffer from the effects of being pelted with refuse by the locals when riding such a contraption but also the peculiar walking gait that is caused by riding one of those things for more than 15 minutes takes years of yoga and acupuncture to correct.”
What is even less known is the VAT on cycles with ornate lugs. What is almost as debilitating as riding a Moulton for any distance is having all of your food money taken by the dole (get them out of my National Health Care!) to cover the import VAT that was implemented in 1923 to protect Ephgrave, Holdsworth and Claude Butler from cheap Rivendells from the US.
The heart break and aftereffects of an individual forced to subsist on beans and pints of whiskey (the equivalent of a McDonald’s Happy Meal in the UK) while negotiating the heath of Yorkshire is something this intrepid correspondent neither wishes to record nor witness.
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