‘Blurple Rando’ may be a colloquial title, but it refers to a very serious machine. After years of riding a Pashley Guv’nor around and taking it on longer and longer rides, Alan approached Boston’s Royal H Cycles and Bryan Hollingsworth with a particular request for a dream bike.
Needless to say, Alan wasn’t disappointed. The timeless form of the Pashley appealed to Alan, so his ideal bike had to adhere to a similar aesthetic. I’m told it’s about twenty pounds lighter than the Guv’nor, even with fenders and racks. Unlike the Guv’nor, it’s designed specifically for all-day riding.
It’s easy to get used to the comfort provided by an upright ride like the Guv’nor; drop bars can feel unnatural afterwards. Bryan achieved a sloping top tube by fillet brazing the front end, making it easy to reach the drops. What the head tube lacks in detail, though, is made up at the seat stay junction.
The bi-laminate seat tube collar and fastback stays have been decorated with holes that resemble rivets, making the Royal H reminiscent of the pre-plastic era Alan’s Guv’nor was designed for. Modern Dura-Ace down tube shifters, an Ultegra drive train and Gran Compe 610 brakes balance the look.
Tim Dixon has painted quite a few Royal H Cycles, as well as the odd Icarus Frame. His ‘blurple’ paint is a real triumph, creating a stark contrast against the gunmetal grey. I don’t think Alan will tire of looking at it for quite some time. Special thanks to Eric Baumann for the awesome photography.