M Gee

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  • The user formerly known as hiero
Re: OLD Raleigh "barn find" - HOW old?
« on: November 07, 2015, 22:11 »
I was at the transfer station today and saw a young local there whom I know. I first knew of him by driving past his home at the time - where he had an obviously hand-painted sign. Crude lettering, "Mike's Bike Shop", with 3 or 4 used bikes for sale parked at the sign. Some time later, I saw him at the transfer station, a young high-school age kid, picking bikes out of the metals bin. He would take them home, fix them up, and sell them. He didn't make much money, but he made some, and he liked what he was doing. I liked it because he was breathing life into thrown-away bikes!

But he's grown up, and left bikes behind. Somewhat. He is now a tractor / outdoor equipment mechanic for a local shop.  He's got a beard now. He couldn't grow a beard when I first met him.

I'd been looking for him the past couple of weeks though. Tried to contact him - no go. But today, serendipity. You see, a couple weeks back I happened to go on our local Freecycle group to post something. I checked out some of the posts while I was there. Somebody was giving away a couple old bikes - so I go check out the photos just out of curiosity. And wait a second - but they have an English style single speed in there! It looks like, omg, but it can't be (!). That would be too much coincidence! But it looks like the men's version of the Raleigh I have! So I go check it out. It was too coincidental. It was a similar English bike, a Hercules, which was a Raleigh lower quality brand. It was much more recent, possibly the 70's, AMF rebranded. I take it though - as I might find parts that would be useful - like cotter pins and nuts.

But this guy had two other bikes, as well. And both were in rideable condition, altho one needed a good tuneup and possibly new cables and brake pads. I couldn't use them, so I thought of Mike. That was why I was trying to get in touch with him.

Mike and I chat, and it turns out he might be able to move one of the bikes. We talk about older bikes, and he tells me about one that he got off the metals heap at the transfer station. It was an old Raleigh. REAL old - rod-actuated brakes. And he re-sold it. Says sometimes he wishes he had kept it. We marvel at what gets thrown away.

Rod-actuated brakes? Lordy, I think they stopped making those in the 30's. That bike might have been literally a hundred years old.

Now I'm going to go email the guy with the leftover bikes, and see if he hasn't taken them to the transfer station yet.
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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .


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