Tuesday, 26 July 2011

You could lose your balls at any moment

Back in the day there once existed a chunk of cast iron technology known as the Raleigh Chopper. A masterful bit of cycling wizardry built to kill, or at least castrate anyone foolish enough to mount it. The cunningly positioned gear changer became known as the nut taker to all brave enough to sit astride this mighty beast.  A big back wheel and small front ensured immanent speed wobbles and the no passengers warning on the seat were to be quite honest, bloody pointless.

However, the thing was truly a marvel to many of us growing up in the seventies. In a time before health and safety, before hard hats and carbon fibre finger braces, the chopper was a way to get closer to God, to your own mortality and so to life. That out of control feeling as one of these machines hit a speed wobble at twenty miles an hour, the knowledge you could lose your balls at any moment or fly head first through the handlebars did, for sure give life new meaning. It was a sad day when the last original chopper rolled off the production line. A sad day indeed.