Happy days for a 12 year old
More than 50 years ago, I used to ride over to Hove to Bill Rayment’s cycle shop, to watch him making bike frames. These were the bases of real racing bikes and he made them ‘from the ground up’. Bill was quite happy for me, as a 12 year old, to potter around his shop, looking at expensive racing gear or just watching his expertise. He was, in his own way, one of my mentors.
Do you remember Rayment’s shop? Please share your memories by posting a comment below.
Rayment’s and sponsorship
Bill sponsored a semi-professional racing cyclist called Ron Panel. Bill supplied all of the necessary kit for Ron and, presumably, took a cut from any of Ron’s wins. Ron had an awful temper and I was scared of him. I was a member of his cycling club – Brighton Velo – but clearly not, in any way, a peer. He did not mind telling me how slow or lacking in talent I was. I was happy just to know someone of his apparent stature.
I never won a race
Bill Rayment made very good frames. I persuaded him to swap my own frame, made by ‘Edgeworthy’, I think and one of the ultimate frames. for one of his own. It was bright yellow and had, previously, been owned by the above named, Ron Panel. I felt that I had ‘arrived’ on the Brighton and Hove bike racing scene. The fact that I never won any races didn’t seem to matter.
Business carries on
It is good to see that the Rayment name has been carried on. I note that Rayment Cycles are still a presence, in Brighton; the present owners bought the business from Bill Rayment in the early 80s. Bill Rayment, always charming and optimistic, would have been proud.