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ICE Ages, Chapter 4: Neil Selwood

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Neil waited 10 years for his first bike. It came to him second-hand and was from the all-steel era, with rod brakes, a chain case and mudguards with pin stripes. That bike was his pride and joy, and the germ of a cycling obsession. Slowly but surely Neil amassed a glorious collection of bikes which were regularly subject to mechanical tinkering.

Time passed, Neil became a qualified engineer and was married. By now Neil was building his own bikes and recumbents, with special parts supplied by Peter Ross at Crystal Engineering.

1997 rolled along, and with the big 40 looming Neil felt he needed a dramatic change. He quit his job, sold his house and moved the family to Cornwall. That summer they led a dreamy nomadic existence: surfing, camping and exploring the beautiful Cornish countryside. But Neil needed a “bike fix” so he called in on Peter Ross at Crystal Engineering.

Over a cup of tea Peter mentioned that he wanted to sell the business as a going concern. Now that got Neil interested! He arranged to spend some time helping Peter in his workshop to get to know the product and the possibilities. But Neil wasn’t the only one eyeing up the business. Over the road Chris Parker was also trying to find a way to make Crystal Engineering his own.

Are two bikeaholics working together a good plan? Who knows, but when Neil and Chris met up one day they just got along. They had a great combination of skills to make things work out, so they decided to make a bid for Crystal Engineering and the rights to Trice.