Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Just Cycling

Cycling, I like cycling. A steady weekend ride with the boy perched in his little seat behind me and Mrs D rolling alongside really is an enjoyable experience. I've always liked getting out and about on bikes, even if they have changed so much over the years, the principle remains the same. Healthy fun, at least that's the idea.

My first bike (as far as I can remember) was the wondrous death trap know as the Raleigh Tomahawk. A great deal of time had clearly been taken on the design of this bike. Questions like, how can we make this dog as unstable as possible and can we make a seat that will scoot you forwards every time the breaks are touched, were clearly asked. And, I must say answered, well. The Tomahawk was to safe cycling what the Hindenburg was to safe fire free flight. Yet dispute that, I survived and moved on.

We can have no doubt that Raleigh knew the Tomahawk and its big brother the Chopper were having an impact on the male population of the UK. Again and again nuts were ripped open on the Chopper gear selector, heads were cracked open as the result of five miles per hour speed wobbles and shins were shattered because of those dam rubber peddles. Something had to be done, and do it they did.
The introduction of the Raleigh Grifter (the heaviest push-bike know to man) was to change cycling for ever. 764kg of solid reinforced scaffold tubing coupled with the legendary sturmey archer three speed ensured this monster would be unstoppable, once and if you could get the dam thing started. It set the scene for the introduction of the mountain bike. The super high tec stuff we see on the road today can offer at least some of its design to the giant death traps of the past. To each and every cyclist who survived the Tomahawk, Chopper and Grifter, I take my hat off to you.

This weekend I plan to get out and about on my little Kona. Its fast, reliable and easy to ride. Cycling, I like cycling.