Childhood Objects

Well I’m going to borderline cheat here. Does teenage still count as childhood? It does? Cool. I guess like most, I’ve got quite a few well and fondly remembered childhood objects but my stand-out has got to be my touring bicycle. Just like this one.

Dark green Raleigh Royal, super lightweight (for the day at least), super strong and super comfy. Talk about an enabling technology, I pretty much lived on this thing in my teens. I went to a big private school with a wide catchment area so mates, and **far** more importantly, girlfriends, were pretty spread out. My trusty steed let me get there quick smart. See that rack over the back wheel? Hang a pair of panniers and a bag on that, phone my best mate Dave, grab a few tools, some cash, food, pans, stove, kipper and tent and off we disappeared for a couple of days or a couple of weeks. Wherever. We. Wanted. To. Go. Man alive, that thing was liberating. We once went down to Land’s End in Cornwall and then rode the entire length of the UK to John o’ Groats in Scotland.

That’s me on the right, next to my mate Dave, with my Dad and his mate Bryan at the front. We’re all celebrating with a tiny bottle of single malt each.

2 Replies to “Childhood Objects”

  1. You can keep the picture up. That first photo is a photo of my own Raleigh Royale during the early stages of a re-build. It now has a front rack, bar-tape, a triple chain-ring set and a Brooks Flyer Saddle. Yes, it is a lovely bicycle to ride. I am now doing another major refurbishment by converted it to 650B wheelsets. On one of my last tours with it, i found that even with the 32mm tyres (the largest that will fit with a 27″ rim) were overly-prone to puncture under heavy load.

    1. Fantastic. Thank you for that. Funny you should mention the punctures; I seem to remember my dad giving me grief about “you young uns and yer skinny tires” or words to that effect. To be fair he didn’t seem to puncture as much as us “young uns” though…

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