|Teo's bike in it's new home at The Su Hotel Bodrum|
In 1981, my late husband Teo was living at the end of the King's Road in London, frequenting the World's End Pub and commuting to the City on his newly purchased Holdsworth Bike. We hadn't yet met, but I too visited that pub quite a lot on my trips to London. When he decided to move back to Turkey the next year, he was allowed a tax-free consignment of household goods. Not having any such things in his newly divorced state - he headed off to Peter Jones at the other end of the road and bought a container load of white goods to make sure that his prized bike made it's duty-free way to Bodrum. I think I noticed the bike before I noticed the tall, good looking man atop it. It was a one-off in the tiny town that was 1982 Bodrum.
He carried on riding this bike for the next 34 years. After he died, I put it in the shed where it stayed for a year - not unloved but unrideable for anyone under 6ft 3.
A Facebook university friend George was keen to take on its restoration but transporting the bike back to the UK was problematical. Then Zafer Küstü, patron of The Su Hotel in Bodrum took on the challenge and the bike was about to get a makeover.
Holdsworth Bikes were painted according to their year of manufacture and 1981 was Ice Blue Metallic. Zafer persuaded a paint shop to match the colour exactly and found an internet source for the original Holdsworth transfers which had long ago faded and were about to be painted over. All the gearing on the bike was made in Italy and by a strange quirk of fate, there is a collector of Italian vintage bike parts living 15kms from Bodrum in Turgutreis. Another lucky coincidence finds two UK vintage bike specialists who holiday in Torba, 10 kms the other side of Bodrum. They gave the newly renovated bike a once over and corrected any mistakes. And finally, just to prove that the bicycle is where it is meant to be, Zafer and his wife Christine have a tall, good looking son Barış, who makes this bike look worthy of its name, its first owner and its kind restorer.
Photos coutesy of Zafer Küstü.