Nick returns to childhood with Sidmouth Viking project

Nick Cole with his Viking Severn bike. Ref shs 36-16TI 7277. Picture: Terry Ife

Nick Cole with his Viking Severn bike. Ref shs 36-16TI 7277. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth man has taken a ride down memory lane by restoring a vintage bicycle to resemble the one he had as a youngster - and has put it on show ahead of the Tour of Britain.

Nick Cole with his Viking Severn bike. Ref shs 36-16TI 7266. Picture: Terry Ife

Nick Cole with his Viking Severn bike. Ref shs 36-16TI 7266. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Nick Coles has spent nearly two years restoring a 1957 Viking Severn English Racing frame, the same make he had when he was a teenager.

His childhood ride was built for him by international cyclist Brian Sandy, but a few years later Nick sold it.

The 62-year-old said: “When I was a teenager, the pictures on my wall were Tommy Simpson and on my pencil case was Campagnolo. I was a bit of a nerd.

“I have regretted it ever since. Probably about eight or nine years ago I started looking for a bike frame.”

Nick Cole with his Viking Severn bike. Ref shs 36-16TI 7264. Picture: Terry Ife

Nick Cole with his Viking Severn bike. Ref shs 36-16TI 7264. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant


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The Viking variety was used by professional cyclists throughout the 1950s and ’60s.

Nick was able to find a 1957 one in poor condition on eBay and sent it to a professional to be restored while he continued his search on the web for the remaining components.

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He began the project when he lived in Corsham, but, after moving to Sidmouth three years ago, named the restoration project the ‘Sidmouth Viking’ after realising the town’s football team were called the Vikings.

The systems manager has sourced genuine components, including Italian Campagnolo gears and original 1970s’ handle bar tape.

This week he has loaned the bike to Potburys to be part of the shop’s window display for the Tour of Britain.

Nick said: “I think it’s a really nice rebuild; I just wanted other people to see it. It’s a replica of the bike that I had.

“I think it’s a piece of art and it seems to have attracted a bit of attention.”

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