Kring! Kring! Kring! The sound produced by bells on old bicycles trigger nostalgia for classic bicycle owners, bringing back good childhood memories of riding around villages with siblings and friends and going to visit neighbours during Hari Raya.
Unlike today’s modern bicycles which are equipped with many technologies and come in different designs, classic bicycles offer basic transportation that enable the owners to go from one to place without the hustle and bustle of driving a car.
“The fun time was when you got to ride and race with your friends after coming back from school. But there are also bitter memories such as a punctured tyre forcing you to push the bicycle all the way home,” reminisced Mosli bin Haji Abdul Hadis, a collector and enthusiast of classic bicycles.
The 58-year-old added that there were a few tragic episodes riding his bicycle, like accidently hitting a tree stump which caused minor injuries and being scolded by his parents after getting home.
He smiled and explained that those memories were so valuable and meaningful.
“The vintage values and all good old memories that I had during my childhood made me fall in love with these classic bicycles.”
Back in February this year, Mosli with some 15 classic bicycle enthusiasts gathered at the Community Hall in Tutong District to participate in the Pameran Basikal Tua or Classic Bicycle Exhibition held in conjunction with the 36th National Day Celebration of Brunei Darussalam.
Various types of old and classic bicycles were on display with the main objective of preserving the cultural heritage of Malays, whereby bicycles had once been a major mode of transportation for many people in the era 1960s up to 1980s.
Mosli explained that the collection of old and classic bicycles should be exposed to the younger generation so that they can appreciate what their elders experienced and how they used bicycles in their daily life in the past.
“A few years back, the value of old and classic bicycles was underrated. However, nowadays, many people are starting to appreciate the value of these classic bicycles and collect them.”
“Today, the value of this vintage collection can reach up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars,” he noted.
“Most of the collectors are willing to spend money to purchase, restore, paint and repair the classic bicycles,” he explained.
Another enthusiast of classic bicycles, Jaafar bin Kassim, shared that his interest in collecting old and antique bicycles began after he saw a friend repairing one.
Jaafar added that the design and history behind the antique transportation method and the nostalgic value that it has, are what made him fall in love with the old classic bicycles.
Fellow classic bicycle enthusiast, Shahrol Redhwan bin Haji Yussof, highlighted that joining the community helps one to explore more knowledge about classic bicycles.
Aside from forging closer ties among the classic bicycle enthusiasts, it provides a platform for them to exchange knowledge and experience and is also a medium for them to ask for parts, tools and equipment if they want to repair their bikes.
“The classic bicycle is just like my best friend, I take care of it to ensure it is well maintained,” shared Shahrol.
He added that they need to gather more bicycle enthusiasts across all four districts in the country under one community, so that the younger generation can also appreciate the beauty of classic bicycles.