A Raleigh Oakland in British Racing Green is the latest addition to my transport options. In my youth this type of bike would have been classed as a tourer. Now various outlets call it a hybrid. They’ve no sense of history. Both Raleigh and Damian Harris Cycles of Whitchurch Village, Cardiff got it about right when they included it in the category entitled “Town/Comfort/Touring” on their websites. Yep. That’s my idea of cycling. Especially comfort.
For one who has not cycled for thirty plus years it was a bit too far to ride the new bike home today. In any case I had yet to buy and fit a few essential accessories. So I enlisted the services of my brilliant daughter, who had the bike rack attached to the back of her car in two minutes flat and the bike itself securely in place in another two.
For anyone who is interested, the Raleigh Oakland comes with a comfortably wide saddle (rather than one of those that must be distantly related to a log splitter), and a neat little device which turned out to be a bell but I doubt that it would convince anyone in noisy traffic. So I bought a proper bell, a nice plain but suitably noisy chrome-plated job – and despite daughter’s entreaties it did not have Bob-the-Builder all over it. A chap has to draw the line somewhere.
The bike also has Shimano 18 speed gears though what I am supposed to do with all of those is anybody’s guess, being accustomed to no more than three or four. It has a steel frame and the wheels have alloy rims with 700c x 28c tyres. Reflectors front and rear and among the spokes are standard fittings as are mudguards and a luggage carrier above the rear wheel. In addition to the bell I have bought a helmet, an expensive lock with a long enough cable to wrap around frame and front wheel and any unsuspecting traffic warden who happens to be nearby, and at very little cost I have obtained an assortment of yellow reflecting and/or fluorescent accessories, including a waistcoat, from the Cardiff Road Safety Centre.
So by mid-afternoon today I was equipped to go. But it was raining so I neither rode the bike nor took pictures of it to post here with my version of a “road test” – perhaps there will be a dry spell during the weekend.