Sunday 14 September 2014

A new project, a new challenge..

This week I cycled very little. No commutes and no audax events. However, I cycled my old BG SR 1 route which is a lovely loop to Lowsonford and back. My daughter Lunar is still a wee bit too small to go on the back of a bicycle just yet.
A vision of the future?
My latest bit of irrational excitement came in the form of my next pending project. I plan to build up a retro(ish) bike, myself, and plan to spend less than £150 on this project. When I was 16, I had a lovely Raleigh Esprit, as seen in the photo below.
Sorry for posting this photo so many times, it’s just that it’s the only photo I have of my old Raleigh. I never kept this bike for long. Following  a serious accident where I wrote off my cousin Andrew’s bike, I had to donate him mine. I have no idea what he might have done with that bike since then – it’s been about 25 years! Anyway, the thing is, I have already purchased the self same frame from ebay for £12.50! 
The frame is hardly exceptional but I like it and am excited about what I might be able to create. I think a retro bike has to be from around the 80’s (if not before) – am not sure how old a Raleigh Esprit is but my guess would make it late 80’s or early 90’s. My guess is 1991 but I’d love it if it was older. Anyone know?

In the week I stumbled across this: how to build a retro bike for a grand. It made an interesting read but I thought ‘who honestly has £1,000 to spend on a project like this’. This chap suggested a budget of £200 for frame and forks – well, I’ve spent £12.50! His budget for wheels was £230, I hope to spend no more than £50. A groupset for £450 – no way, I hope to spend significantly less. I have already acquired some lovely Shimano rx100 brake calipers (front and rear) for £22.50. 
A budget of £120 for finishing kit seemed a bit excessive too – I already have some bar tape somewhere and my frame comes with bar stem, handlebars and seat-post attached. Do you think I’m onto a winner? I will keep a tally of costs and post same. To date, I have spent £35.

Am aware that my long distance cycling challenges may decrease over next year. However, the challenger is still in me! My challenge is to build up the afore-mentioned bike and cycle it to work on at least one commute.
The challenger remains!
This blog has discussed merits of wearing helmets in the past. Some have commented that helmets look a 'bit off' or 'strange'. Well, an article in the Metro has put pay to that!
The text might be a little hard to read, but the picture is clear enough. Each of the individuals pictured above are wearing a bicycle helmet. Keep this under your hat!

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