IPOH – The theft of his Phillips classic bicycle in 2009 set Bahri Anshari on the road to becoming a classic bicycles collector.
The 61-year-old Telekom Malaysia retiree is now the proud owner of about 70 of these coveted bicycles, among which are brands such as Robin Hood, BSA, Hercules, Humber, Rudge and Chopper.
“In 2009, I had five classic bicycles at my house here but one of them was stolen when I was away attending a course in Taiping.
“My children and I searched for the bicycle at shops selling recycled goods and bicycle spare parts but failed to find it. However, the search led us to buying similar bicycles, and soon a hobby developed,” he said to Bernama.
Bahri, who is chairman of the Speda Classic Kinta Perak Club, said the stolen bicycle was obtained from a senior citizen who no longer used it, and it was repaired using Phillips spare parts.
He also said that among his collection are bicycles produced as way back as 1892. The latest addition is a BSA bicycle bought in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, that is believed to be 70 years old, he added.
Bahri said he particularly liked the five postman bicycles he had in his collection that he had bought in 2010 for RM15 each.
Now, he said, people have been offering him thousands of ringgit for each of the bicycles, but he would not part with them.
“I often use them as escort vehicles for wedding couples. They are equipped with a siren to announce the arrival of the couples,” he said.
Bahri said he would not sell any of his bicycles because they are difficult to replace.
Bahri’s hobby has the support of his wife, Zuraidah Hamzah, 59, and their four children.
He said the cost of acquiring the old bicycles varied depending on the brand and condition but he spends about RM300 every two months on maintenance.
He also said that the Speda Classic Kinta Perak Club had about 50 members and they were often invited to hold exhibitions.
Bahri said he was not interested to participate in any ‘Beautiful Bicycle’ competition because beautifying an old bicycle would cause it to lose its classic and antique elements.
“I believe that a classic and antique bicycle must retain its rusty condition, scratches and the accessories that come with it,” he said. – BERNAMA