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Cabin Fever or Raleigh Appreciation Day

January 8, 2012
by Erin B

The Maybe-Colt, before

I was up until 1:30am this morning.  Then again at 3am, 4am, 5:15am and 6:30am.  Little girl is sick again.  AGAIN.  I guess we started back into the world too soon and she picked up another bug.  Wednesday was awesome.  We went for a walk and on a play day and life was good.  Friday she was a little sick again and last night was horrible.

We all sort of managed to sleep in until 9:30 this morning.  I swear I woke up for ever twitch or rustle. I woke up tired and crabby and decided I needed to do something fun for me.  I couldn’t face the unending sweater, so I dug the parts bike out of the basement.  I brought the bike repair stand in from the garage and put down a drop cloth in the living room and started stripping.  Parts that is.  Donor bike lost its wheels with nice white tyres and a newer (2000s) SA hub, twist shifter, handle bars and bell.   T helped me pull the crank arms only to find out they are proprietary and are basically useless.  The frame went out to the garage to go to the scrap yard.  Its cancerous and bent frame will be reborn as…. what ever scrap steel becomes.

Then in came the Raleigh.  I have had mixed opinions about if this it is a Colt or a Sports.  It is marked Raleigh and Made in England but the model isn’t listed on it.  The size could go either way.  I would bet it’s a Colt based on the paint job, but the frame measures almost the same as Claire, my Superbe.

But I digress.  The …. whatever Raleigh it is, got the donor wheels with alloy rims and a SA three speed coaster brake hub.  The plan is that with the alloy wheels, the caliper brakes and the coast brake this other Raleigh will be a good bad weather bike.  The extra stopping power is needed in the wet and snow.  Claire’s steel rims are too slippery for the brakes when wet and I can’t get Kool-Stop brake pads locally.  At some point, I’m going to order some, but it isn’t in the budget so soon after Christmas.

I will also at some point name the Maybe-Colt, and get it a new paint job.  It looks like it has been in the wars.  No.  That’s not true.  The paint job is scarred up and the fenders have some dents, but the frame and fork are not bent.  It is a bike that deserves a new paint job.  Right now, it looks too ugly to name.  Sorry, but I’m superficial like that.

The thing is, I love Claire.  I hate that even on warm days, and there have been a lot of them this winter, I don’t feel safe riding in the damp.  The Maybe-Colt (I hope) will solve that problem.  As soon as I get a new chain, and new brake pads, and warm weather to calibrate the shifter.  I am really hoping I can use the old thumb shifter with the new SA hub so I don’t have to use the twist shifter from the donor bike.  I don’t even know if that is possible, but I am going to try.

Here’s the weird part.  I spent all morning dreaming bikes and wishing for a date with either of my vintage Raleighs.  This afternoon, I found out that two other bloggers I follow (Rideblog and April Likes Bikes) have written Raleigh appreciation posts and Lovely Bicycle has once again referenced her post about why a Vintage Bike is her budget option of choice.

Yay!  Vintage bikes.

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