For those of you that read this blog, you will know what I mean by going off the deep end... This picture should sum it all up...
Now for the back story.. There is ALWAYS a back story, isn't there?
I have recently been searching the interwebs daily looking for a very specific bicycle. I would love to get my hands on a Raleigh Lenton Reg Harris from the mid 50's I've set up auto-search and RSS on "Lenton" and "Raleigh Bicycle" in the local and regional Craigslists and eBay looking for this hard-to-find bike. I'm not sure why, I just love the idea of setting up a three-speed touring/road bicycle. I'm getting sick of derailleurs and shifting 12-21 speeds... I find I only use three of them anyway.
But I digress. Yesterday, I came across a post in the local Seattle Craigslist for "a pair of Raleigh Twenty's." I usually have pretty good will power NOT to look at these ads, because, well, they are just TOO tempting. Not sure what prompted me to take a peek, but once I saw the pictures, I knew I was doomed to have a lighter wallet..
I knew there were white Twenty's, but I had no idea there were ORANGE ones!! Does anyone know the complete color palette of these bikes in the US?
Pair the unique colors (and I had neither one in my current herd) with the fact that these bikes were IMMACULATE in terms of condition, and I was hooked. Both bikes have pristine aluminum air pumps. The decals are like new and the paint shows no signs of chalking. Sure there are a few small blemishes and a tad of yellowing of the decals on the white one... but hey, when I was that age, I had worse scars.
Here are a couple more shots just to give you an idea of how nice these bikes are. There isn't even a speckle of black grease or dirty oil on the hub. And in terms of wear, look at the pedals. The rubber is perfect.
I purchased these bikes for $150 each from a very nice guy named Doug. According to Doug, these bikes were his late parents and were purchased by them in the early seventies at a local Seattle bike shop - Gregg's Greenlake Cycle - it's still there. "They just tootled around a bit... we took them to Stanley Park in BC once or twice... and then they ended up in the garage with a sheet over them for 40 years.."
In addition to the bicycles, I also got some other stuff. A couple throw-away baskets for the front. But the most impressive thing was the original "Assembly Instructions...." and a set of Raleigh-specific "spanners.".
So that is about it... I gotta run to some graduation party now... but my mind will be elsewhere :-)