A moped

The year is 1974 and the location is Brittany in France. It was the first time I had been to visit our Gallic friends and neighbours and I enjoyed seeing how similar they were to us, yet with many differences to enjoy. In visiting Brittany I probably ought to compare with the west of Ireland rather than the more prosperous south of England. The lifestyle I saw in the parts of Brittany visited was certainly more akin to the west of Ireland.

But youngsters and older people were allowed to ride mopeds which to my eyes were of a fairly primitive kind and here is one from 1974 – forty two years ago.

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This little beast is little more than a bicycle relying on pedal power. But that strange front carrier holds a little motor which I believe spins a wheel which rubs against the front wheel of the bike driving it along. It was a simple system which certainly allowed a peddler to let the engine take the strain. I can’t imagine it did much good to the front tyre which must have worn out quickly.

The brake levers seem to be mounted the opposite way round to our UK bikes – but I say ‘vive la difference’.

We can also see that the car behind has the once compulsory (in France) yellow headlamp. Then bike is not equipped with luxuries like lamps.

Interesting – and I never did see anything just like it in the UK.

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