Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bikes Outside: Raleigh 'Round the Neighborhood

In observance of Labor Day, this week's bike outside was pushed to Tuesday morning. Today, we look at a former British subject leading an active life in Frog Hollow. It is a rare trip I make down Park street that I don't see this bike parked or being ridden. If memory serves, the mix of older and newer fonts on this particular example place it around 1970, give or give a year. The tall head tube indicates a 23" frame (the other available size being 21")

This particular Raleigh Sports (see what I did there?) some interesting aesthetic choices. The decorative spoke beads are a youthful contrast with the stodgy old school machine. The bobbed fenders enhance the sporting look and ensure that important components like the brakes and lower headset bearings are spared the flung muck of foul weather riding, without depriving the rider of his fair share of road spray. A brush repaint at some point carefully skirted around the original decals. The bike is cared for, in a very DIY sort of way.

I'm especially fond of the Raleigh Sports model, as my Dad had one, purchased new (along with a matching ladies' Sports for my Mom) at Hogie's Cycle in Hawthorne, NJ around 1975 or so. His had the 21" frame in metallic chestnut brown with a proper leather Brooks saddle. It was sold at a garage sale years ago, sadly, but I'm always on the lookout for its twin. The crisp ticking of a Sturmey-Archer hub is aural comfort food for my cycling soul.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Hawthorne NJ? Did someone say go BEARS? Didn't know you had a connection there. My dad taught at the HS for many years.