‘ello Guvnor

I received an interesting email the other day.

A gentleman by the name of James was writing to say he’s going to be in L.A. next month. I know he’s a gentleman because a) his email was very polite, and b) he was writing from London. And as we all know, Englishmen are gentlemen.

Except for the ones who aren’t, of course.

guvnor ride-or-admireThis particular gentleman, though, is president of the Guvnor Owners Club, an organization dedicated to the extremely cool Pashley Guvnor — or Guv’nor, as the 83 year old manufacturer oddly insists on calling it, to the apparent disdain of virtually everyone not employed by the company.

Featuring a frame hand-built in England — at Stratford–upon-Avon, no less, the proper name for the town that was home to that famous dead poet and playwright — the Guvnor is a steel-framed, single speed bike (a 3 speed model is also available). Its design resurrects a classic bike from 1930’s, called a Path Racer because it was built to race along dirt paths as well as paved roads, making it an ideal bike for today’s pothole-lined city streets.

guvnor goc-2-wpAnd what could be more stylish and urban cycle chic than those white balloon tires and rakishly swept handlebars?

The point of James’ email, though, other than to induce a deep craving for the bike-lust inducing roadster, was to seek out any Guvnor owners in the L.A. area. He’d like to hear from you, and possibly photograph your bike when he’s scheduled to be in town on December 3rd. James is willing to travel wherever you may reside in the greater L.A. area; I’m sure he’d still want to hear from you if you’re not available that day or if you live anywhere in the former colonies.

You can email him at james at guvnorownersclub dot com. Or respond through the comments on here and I’ll make sure he sees it.

Even if you don’t own one, check out his website at www.guvnorownersclub.com, where he offers insights into the joys of owning a Guvnor, as well as a photo-rich travelogue of one of my favorite cities.horse-guards-dark-wp

And if, like me, you’re now dying to ride the genuine article, rumor has it that Orange 20 Bikes has — or at least, had — one, though they haven’t responded to my email asking for confirmation. And Flying Pigeon has taken a stab at transforming their eponymous Chinese bikes into a more affordable faux Guvnor.

Personally, I’m just hoping the company sees this, and ships one over to express their gratitude for the free publicity.

A man can dream, can’t he?


In a town where so few people walk, L.A. ranks 3rd in the nation in pedestrian deaths — and in the bottom 10% in spending to make the roads safer. Westside Bikeside shares my biggest complaint about riding through the area’s newest Bike Friendly City. Monsters on Bikes invade Flying Pigeon for a group art show starting Saturday. Maybe they really are out to get us: Police cruisers kill cyclists in San Diego and the D.C. area. The Examiner notes that white people aren’t the only ones who bike. Starting tomorrow, New York requires commercial buildings to provide bike access for any tenant who requests it. Portland authorities credit a rider’s helmet for saving her life when an SUV drove over her head. An introduction to riding in the City of Big Shoulders. Back in my hometown, a man uses bike power to move his entire home — and tow his SUV. The Guardian profiles the cult appeal of Brompton folding bikes. Evidently, L.A. cyclists and drivers aren’t the only ones stuck in traffic. Bogata has a challenger for dumbest bike lane, international edition. London’s Daily Mail calls for increased prosecution of Lycra louts. Finally, in keeping with today’s theme, a classic bit of Brit bike humor, Python style.


  1. @dudeonabike says:

    It’s a beautiful machine no doubt and I, too, have been lusting after the Guv’nor since first seeing it at Orange 20 many moons ago. Too bad for Orange 20 (but not-so-bad for my checkbook at the moment I suppose) it’s a smaller size frame–not large enough for a 6-foot gentleman. Good thing it wasn’t my size because if it were, I would have to concoct yet another story for the wife as to why she would be seeing another bike in the house. I’m sure she would agree that this one was different, however.

    If the good folks at Pashley decide to reward your noble efforts by distributing to you one of these beauties, kindly pass along my information that, if Pashley is so gracious as to bestow similar good graces upon ME, I hereby promise that I’ll organize and lead LA’s first Pashley-sponsored Tweed Ride. No other consideration on Pashley’s part will be necessary.

    • bikinginla says:

      Agreed: You’re second in line, right after me, even though I haven’t owned any tweed since I left chilly Denver for sunny SoCal.

      That’s one plus that comes from having a wife with no interest in cycling. I could slide a new steed into the bike corral, and it could be months before she noticed the new addition. Although I suppose the bounced rent check might tip her off.

  2. James says:

    Gents, does that make me third in line? Blast and Ruinations!
    Many thanks for a super post, very kind indeed. Any Guvnor owners out there?

  3. Jen says:

    Thx for the post!
    and the pics are really nice,


  4. Pete Thompson says:

    If you love path racer bikes, check out this blog with Path Racers dating back to 1909.


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