Bike in famous photo the same as one from the farm

From our October 2012 issue

By Willy Enns – Winnipeg, Man.

When Prime Minister Chretien was on a visit to China, there was a picture of him riding a bike which I recognized to be the same bike as the one we had on our farm in the 1940s. It was black, made in England, and the name was “Leader”.

When we first got it, I was still too small for it so I rode it “under bar” with my right leg under the crossbar. I loved it because it was easier to pedal than the CCM bikes. Its life was short-lived when a tractor backed over it.

What made it easy to recognize was a distinctive feature with the handbrakes, levers instead of cable, at least in some places. I’m not sure exactly where.

From the centre, two rods were attached to the front of the handlebars. The ends were swept back and became the brake handles.

Since the bike was sold by Eaton’s, probably many were sold and so perhaps some of you might be familiar with it and even have one still and could attest to its quality and design.

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien rides a bicycle down a street in Shanghai Nov.10, 1994 while his Chinese government appointed military guard runs along with him. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tom Hanson