Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Last Day!

I never understood the celebration name "First Night." I always thought it set a poor example for children like having a sign on a station wagon that says "School Bus" or miss spelled words in advertising just to be cute. We all know that in fact that it is that last night and the first morning but someone with an idea named it as it is and the rest is history, or Her-Story. That said, Here's wishing all a happy "Last Day." It looks like its going to be a good one!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Bring Your Raleigh Home

After finishing my road find 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow restoration, one year later I brought it back to the UK for day tours from one B&B. Here is a shot of the bike and my first glimpse of the English Channel. Those white specks in the background are sheep.
My solo 2 week vacation and a Dream Come True!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Raleigh Christmas Everyone!

Christmas for me is a great day for a ride. Traffic is low and as long as the roads are clean, A Raleigh Cyclist can enjoy the countryside like on no other bicycle. More to look at as you roll along, Homes are decorated for the day. Riding in New England at this time of year its hard not to notice!

Any bicycle will do but The Raleigh seems to stand out and is noticed by folks you pass on their Christmas Day walk. A ring of your bell always sets them smiling and wishing you a happy day!

Its cold this morning. One of the coldest this season. The thermometer on the deck here in Dover, Ma reads 14 degrees. A good morning to put another log on the fire and plan the perfect ride. Short but sweet. Check back here later today for photographs of my Christmas Ride. Merry Christmas Everyone!

Todays Bicycle of Choice, 1954 Raleigh RRA

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ride Report, 3 Speed, 3 Pub Tour

What a wonderful day and great group. Six riders, just large enough to stay together and enjoy the company of all. We were never too large going into the Pubs, all which were perfect for the style of riding. As close to being in England as one might imagine! A newer vision of the UK. Oh, New England!
The Group met as planned on the Salem Commons and after a spot of tea and a piece of excellent Shortbread for dipping, headed out on the ride.
As we rolled away with Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" playing from a hidden sound system, the sun came out in full force and warmed body's and souls.
The architecture along the way, perfectly lit, was a joy. Nothing like the "North Shore" for its antique views and splendid scenery. The 3 speeds blended in perfectly. All riders dressed for the location.
Our first stop. in Beverly,Ma was a little all wood Pub called "Kitty O'Shea's" All hard wood, and like going back in time. They offer a full Irish Breakfast. We stuck to the bitter that was Boddington's. A perfect pour for this side of the Atlantic. We agreed that a pint before noon on Sunday was perfectly OK, because we never got by the first question, "What's wrong with Sunday?"
From the Waterfront to the Woods, our tour never had us on roads with large up hills. Somehow though we enjoined miles of coasting on large down hills. Magic! Thank You Doug.
Our next pub was "The Black Cow" in South Hamilton, Ma. where I enjoined a bowl of Clam Chowder and a pint of "Old Speckled Hen". The Chowder was spot on and again, the bitter, a perfect pour. We passed around stereo slides of a ride I did on a 37 Raleigh Golden Arrow back in 2007. A lot of them looked just like the tour we were on today.

We headed out of town with a quick stop and bicycle ringing to try to arouse Christopher Igleheart at his cute cottage along the way. With no luck we headed back toward Salem.
Our next stop was a very nice Oyster Bar called "Cygnet" In Beverly Farms and had a plate of Oysters to share. The prizes were handed out. First went to Mark just for showing and being Mark. He was the driver from Concord NH. who brought Dave. Dave got Second Place, just because he is Dave. Barbara got 3rd place because she was the only one to wear a skirt. (Only Women Too!)
We headed back with still great sunlight and warmth for December, around 55 degrees. Beautiful sky. the waterfront looked like a postcard with all the sailboats. The moon was out in the full lit sky giving a extra special touch to the scenery and views of 1700's architecture.

We finished at a Pub in Salem called the "Old Spot" Again Perfect setting for the finish of our 3 pub, 3 speed tour.

A Toast was made to Doug, Us, And plans for our next ride!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Birthday Ride

What a great way to spend your birthday! Riding a Raleigh that's as old as you!
The bicycle lends to the scenery as a work of art does to a view and no matter where you go, people notice.
My "Birthday Ride" this year was to the "Waterworks Museum" at 2450 Beacon Street in Boston. Closed on Monday and Tuesday, Admission if free and the folks running the show are happy to have you.
The "Great Engines Hall" is really something to be seen in person. The photographs here do not show the immensity of the machines that once pumped water from the reservoir across the street to building and homes at higher elevations in Boston not reachable by the normal gravity feed of the aqueduct system.
It was nice to see that rather close down the building that something positive had been done that allow one to see the greatness of our capital city.
A ride afterwards around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir was a good way to view the building in its grandeur.

The View From Across the Chestnut Hill Reservoir

The Grand Front Door

My 1952 Raleigh Sports Birthday Bicycle

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spend the Day with your Raleigh

Nothing like spending the better part of the day putting a shine on your 3 Speed. Is really any better way to get to know your Roadster?
Detailing your antique bicycle really gives you a feel of days gone by. A time when nothing was skipped and things were done to perfection.
The 1952 Raleigh Sports is a joy to work on. Everything fits. The bike parts spin unlike anything new and the sound of the machine is like an old clock. Its not surprising that watch workers love there Raleighs too.
Prepping a Raleigh Roadster for an event is truly a joy. Knowing that everything is right and the bike will look great! Hope to see you on Sunday! Its going to be Fun!

1952 Raleigh Sports

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Note From Tour Leader Doug

This Sunday Dec. 4th, I will be hosting a pub crawl or rather ride on 3 speed bicycles. We'll be meeting up at 11am on the Salem common by the gazebo. We will then ride via a bike path to our first pub, Kitty O'Shea's in Beverly where we will partake of sustenance and libation. From there it's a lovely ramble through the countryside to Hamilton and the Black Cow, our 2nd pub stop. Next we head over to Beverly Farms for our 3rd pub stop, Cygnet...the chowder is excellent btw!

Finally, we'll return to Salem and the Old Spot English Pub for our last stop and some English Bitters!

If you have a 3 speed bike great! If not, let me know and I may be able to hook you up with one of mine. I will be riding one but have 3 more to lend out.

Dress is decidedly English Country gentleman or lady. Tweeds, Britches, Sporting Caps, etc.

Hope you can join us for this fun event.

Tally Ho!

The Raleigh Dawn Tourist

Was there ever a more reliable bicycle then the Raleigh Dawn Tourist? Fendered and ready to ride.
The bicycle has 26x 1 1/2 Westwood pattern rims and rod brakes. Outfitted with a Sturmey Archer 4 Speed, FW, The bicycle is the perfect "Go anywhere" bicycle.
This bike is hub dated 1950.
Its 60 degrees here in Dover right now. The Perfect Bicycle for the Perfect day!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Beautiful Bicycles in Beautiful Places

We are lucky here in Southern New England to have so many beautiful spots to ride. Beautiful stops make for memorable rides.
This spot has been a favorite for cyclists for years. The bridge's arch at the Charles River crossing is said to have 11 echo returns from one blast of a bugle

The Boston Water Works Aqueduct at Echo Bridge, Newton Upper Falls, Mass.

Monday, November 21, 2011

3 Speed 3 Pub Tour December 4th, Salem, Ma

Come join us for a slow roller on your favorite 3 Speed bike around the North Shore.

Tour leader Douglas Harris Esq. will guiding us over hill and dale for an afternoon one won't soon forget.

Meet at the Salem Commons at 11:00 am in front of the gazebo.

What to bring? Your 3 Speed, 4 or 5 Speed internal hub gear bikes only. Cash for food and drink. Warm clothing. Thermos of tea or some other type of warming beverage.

Pass the word. No RSVP, Just show up! Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Raleigh DL-1

For years Raleigh offered every part for their bicycles. This exploded view of the DL-1 shows the detail of the Raleigh Roadster and why it was loved by so many.
This drawing from days past shows how you could order any replacement bit.
Note the detail of the Raleigh Pattern Pedal. The locking star washer sets the cone to never move. Notice the two models of pedals. Men's are wide and Women's are narrow to properly fit the foot. Wouldn't this drawing make a nice T shirt!

The 1956 Raleigh DL-1

****************** Click on the drawings for a larger view. ***************

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

1893 Raleigh Pneumatic

I found this at the Copake Country Auctions. It was the oldest Raleigh I had ever seen. I owned it for about 3 years, but without any chance of riding it I passed it along to another collector.

The Original Raleigh Pattern Fork Crown

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Like Finding Gold

Anyone can go to a bike shop and with enough money, buy the bike of their dreams. I like to think that my Raleighs found me.
All my Raleighs came at the perfect time. Project bikes can be rewarding and educational. Like going back in time, after a while of dealing with antique bicycle parts, you get the feel as to how it was back when the bike was new. Details of design can bring you back to a time when bicycle company's built bikes to last.
I have heard it many times before,"This bike was in really bad shape when I found it." The worse the condition, the more fun the restoration and the larger the reward when you take the bike for its first ride.