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A Little Snapshot...

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A Little Snapshot...

Old 10-20-11, 03:23 PM
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Sixty Fiver
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A Little Snapshot...



It was the spring of 1950 and a young boy of 12 and his father walked into Joe's Bicycle Shop on the north side where they lived and where the young man's father owned a bakery.

This was the old Polish neighbourhood, populated with immigrants from Europe who came to Canada to make a new life after the great war... they opened businesses and built homes and called this new city home.

From the selection of bicycles at Joe's young Gene spied a Raleigh in what was called " Flamboyant Electric Blue"... it was an English racer fitted out with a 3 speed hub and drop bars and it took no time at all before Gene was out terrorizing the neighbourhood on his beautiful new bicycle.

It was a busy time and a boom time here and houses and new neighbourhoods were sprouting up so there was much to see an explore and on one fine afternoon Gene's father took a picture of him on his new bike with a Brownie camera.

Gene rode the bike until 1965 and then stored it away and for more than 4 decade his beloved bike waited and gathered dust. Over those decades that beautiful neighbourhood declined greatly as people moved to the suburbs.

The neighbourhood he once called home became one that you did not walk through at night anymore... shops closed and were replaced with liquor stores and pawn shops if they were not boarded up.

I am holding a snapshot of the man I met this morning when he was a young boy, albeit a very tall one, and took possession of his old Raleigh which has been stored since before I was born.

He said he only changed the grips in the 61 years he owned it and said he was pleased it was going somewhere that it would be appreciated.

I told him that I was looking to open a new shop just a few blocks where Joe's used to be and am sure that the young boy in the snapshot must have ridden around the neighbourhood I now call my home and perhaps may have known people who lived in my house as it was built in 1950. And my house sits across from the school he attended and am sure this old bike got parked in racks that are now empty for the most part... these new kids don't ride bicycles much.

It is a neighbourhood that has seen a rebirth over the past decade and new businesses are opening and families are returning to the inner city and an old Raleigh will be riding around the same streets it first saw over 60 years ago.

And when I am not riding it plan to hang it up in my shop as it is quite symbolic of what was and what could be.

The original advert for the Raleigh Sports...



Today... when I brought it back to the shop. One can see that the brakes were lowered and the saddle is the same that was fitted when the bike was new... a Brooks B66 Gents model in rather amazing shape.







To be continued...

Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 10-20-11 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 10-20-11, 03:38 PM
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When a bicycle is this old one always worries about how things will come apart... the price I paid for the bicycle was such that I was going to take it regardless of how much prayer it took to get things working smoothly.

And I needed no prayers...

A Bemol bottle generator... "Made in England"



The seatpost came out without a fight...



As did the stem...



I topped up the tyres and the oil, repacked the headset bearings, and straightened a slightly bent crank arm... I am sure the spindle is also a little bent and will take care of that later. Will also install a new bottom bracket and cotter pins and the old ones may put up a bit of a fight.

The AW runs like buttered glass... those 50's hubs are wonderful and then I reset the brake levers and bars to where they would have been originally and went for a spin.

Consider this a "before" shot as there is still much to do... will tear the bike down completely and rebuild it but it is amazing what a few hours can do to pretty up an old bicycle.




Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 10-20-11 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 10-20-11, 03:38 PM
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One more shot...

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Old 10-20-11, 03:43 PM
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Gorgeous bike! Take good care of it.
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Old 10-20-11, 03:46 PM
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You just made my day, nice story, nice job, nice karma!
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Old 10-20-11, 03:49 PM
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Pretty cool that it will be on the road again in the place it was way back then. Where's the picture from the 50's of the original owner on it?
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Old 10-20-11, 03:54 PM
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i can see it's aura- bright yellow.
it is loved again.
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Old 10-20-11, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by brockd15 View Post
Pretty cool that it will be on the road again in the place it was way back then. Where's the picture from the 50's of the original owner on it?
I have the photo and have permission to get it blown up... might see how well it scans too.
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Old 10-20-11, 03:56 PM
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Congratulations on a thrilling find Sixty. I am as happy for the PO as well, who could not have hoped to find a better home for his old steed.

One thing that is striking for me is the radical difference between the export versions of the Sports in Canada and the US. It had a very different character up there, truly more of a sporting model.
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Old 10-20-11, 04:15 PM
  #10  
Sixty Fiver
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We still liked cowboys in the 50's and 60's...

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Old 10-20-11, 04:27 PM
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You were right about the condition of the saddle. That's impressive.
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Old 10-20-11, 04:31 PM
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David Newton
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Great story!
Thanks.
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Old 10-20-11, 05:01 PM
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Chris W.
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Wonderful story!
Thank you for sharing

Cheers,
Chris
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Old 10-20-11, 05:16 PM
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Fantastic-the whole thing, the story and the bike.
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Old 10-20-11, 06:05 PM
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Back in the 50's they had Brownie cameras...

With digital technology I enlarged the image to get a little better detail and see a City of Edmonton bike license plate on the front fork.

Will have to ask where this was taken.

https://www.ravingbikefiend.com/bikep...rtspic2000.JPG
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Old 10-20-11, 06:48 PM
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Great story! And I'm very happy for you - what a cool bike.
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Old 10-20-11, 07:04 PM
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This is one of those stories that just make you feel good all over, thanks for sharing. The bike is very lucky to have found you!
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Old 10-20-11, 07:15 PM
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Good on you! It's perfect.
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Old 10-20-11, 07:21 PM
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Time to take the old girl home... picked her up a few blocks from the co-op and she has spent most of the day in the stand and now she has to go and meet her new housemates.

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Old 10-20-11, 08:27 PM
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I saw that bike on Kijiji and was tempted. Thanks for sharing the details of its history. I'm glad it found a good home. I thought the ad location was out of town. Did he bring it in for you?
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Old 10-20-11, 08:32 PM
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Sixty Fiver
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tuck - we met halfway.

Nice ride home despite a slightly lumpy back tyre (I have spares) and a slipping shifter... and I have a replacement for that.

But first... some hot buttered popcorn.
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Old 10-20-11, 09:33 PM
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Dang, 65er, That a great story and a great bike. You're the kind of guy a person would want to give a cherished bike to. Someone who would cherish as well. I'm smilin'
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Old 10-20-11, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
Congratulations on a thrilling find Sixty. I am as happy for the PO as well, who could not have hoped to find a better home for his old steed.

One thing that is striking for me is the radical difference between the export versions of the Sports in Canada and the US. It had a very different character up there, truly more of a sporting model.
The Raleighs we got here were pretty much the same as were sold in England... the right hand front brake set up is also original and was told it came this way.

Am missing the chain guard... I can see it in the snapshot but am quite sure this was removed very early on as no self respecting 12 year old would keep that intact.

British Raleighs would have had a full chain case... like the US, Canadian versions most often came with hockey sticks.


Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 10-20-11 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 10-20-11, 11:57 PM
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A wonderful story and it's great to see a beautiful old Sports back on the road where it belongs! Enjoy your latest find.
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Old 10-21-11, 12:12 AM
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I wish every bike I had came with a photo like that.

That kid was all legs.
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