A World Distance Record Attempt (For Me)

Well, as anyone who has read my previous posts I have been trying to increase the mileage (with limited success) to at least give me a feel of how difficult my challenge will be.

My previous attempts had been to aim for St Mary’s Lighthouse or Blyth which are 19.5/24.5 miles respectively and to be picked up my ‘support crew’ (Mrs B in our car).

Both attempts ended in mechanical failure at Tynemouth (16 miles), which meant I ended up waiting for rescue at Woods Cafe (which I can thoroughly recommend now).

This time was going to be different as the bike would have the recent modifications in place –  I was aiming to reach St Mary’s Lighthouse and … RETURN!!

The weather forecast was decent so I loaded the bike rack into the back of the car (just in case) and I headed off in the direction of the http://www.thecyclehub.org/ where  I knew the bike jumble would be starting at 10 and I had arranged to meet Jed as he cycled down from  Slaley on his Giant Defy (somewhat of an unfair advantage me thinks). Sitting outside having my tea and there were loads of cyclists coming in. A large group of cyclists came in and one came over with his helmet, shades and Zorro mask on and started to talk to me – I recognised his voice and bluffed my way thru to when he removed his disguise. It was Dave Nichol, a colleague from work who I hadn’t known was into his cycling but apparently he’s relatively new to it and loving it.

The Hub were preparing themselves to show the Paris Roubaix race in the afternoon on a big screen so there was quite a buzz.

A guy came in on a Dawes Ultra Galaxy (same as my tourer) but I noticed he didn’t have the Brooks leather saddle on. I went to question why and it turns out we’d chatted 2 years previous whilst doing the Northern Rock Cyclone 107 miles ride -he was on his Dawes and I was on my Trek Madone 4.7 (but wishing, for comfort that I was on my Dawes). Anyway turned out he (John) did LEJOG the year previous to me so we did email a couple of times before my attempt and he followed my progress on my blog. But now he was much more interested in my crazy capers on  the Chopper and was I think surprised at just how much attention the bike was getting. It was a good catchup John if you get to read this feel free to drop me a line.

Anyway, I tore myself away after another pot of tea (cheers Jed) and off to the track to lead me down to Tynemouth. I would leave the track where I knew there was a lot of broken glass which Newcastle Council hadn’t cleared and was impossible to cycle around it.

When I rejoined the track I started catch what turned out to be a father, mother, their son and another friend all on traditional old style tourers. Just turns out they had been at the Hub also and had been admiring the Chopper. The other friend turns out to own 60 bikes and one of which is a penny farthing which he’d like to do lejog on – and people say I’m mad?? good luck to you.

Anyway we made our merry way down to Tynemouth without incident until, without warning, a dog not on a leash ran across in front of me so I slammed on the brake to avoid it and the father on the tourer ran into the back end of me – bringing chain etc off – OH NO, THE CURSE OF TYNEMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN – this time though I was able to don the fashionable latex gloves and fix the problem and head my way along the coastline to St Mary’s Lighthouse (photo evidence below). again I stopped for a cup of tea which I drank whilst watching the waves lapping over the causeway – very pleasant but with a cold easterly wind.

So now I was at my halfway point (19 miles) I ‘just had to’ retrace my tracks. Incident free and bumped into John and  a couple of female friends who he’d met at the Hub and he’d been telling them all about my Chopper – they probably didn’t believe anyone could be so crazy – they do now!!

Eventually arriving back at the Hub and this time well deserved large muffin and a pot of tea – really should have treat the Chopper also.

38.56 miles done at an average of 9.4mph – which isn’t bad going.

Route details can be viewed at Endomondo

The Chopper had loads of photos taken, gruff white van man winding window down, tooting and shouting “great bike mate” – #STANDARD

I FEEL LIKE WE ARE ON TRACK NOW 🙂

The Chopper reaches St Mary's Lighthouse only to find the causeway covered

The Chopper reaches St Mary’s Lighthouse only to find the causeway covered

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Plan B for the troublesome gears (only cycle geeks should read)

Well after the last couple of rides ended in exactly the same problem meaning a recovery mission from my wife I thought I’d better address the issue.
The problem is/was:
Originally the setup on the rear hub was spoke saver, spacer, single sprocket, shim, round profile circlip to keep it all in place..
The conversion of adding an extra sprocket meant I had to leave off the spoke protector, spacer and shim off as there wasn’t enough space for them so it ended up the 2 sprockets with the circling to hold them in place.

If the chain slipped over the biggest cog the sideways pressure popped off the circlip – end of ride 😦

After discussion with my friend(and painter of the bike) Harry he suggested he would weld the sprockets together making them more solid and to use a square edged circlip so less likely of popping out the groove.
So that’s what he’s done and I must say it seems a much more solid job. I just need to get out and test it now!

Another issue I’ve had is the inability to stop due to the inefficient single side pull brakes and old brake blocks onto chrome steel wheels. I’ve now replaced the blocks with leather faced blocks which apparently help in wet weather (not that I choose to ride her in the wet). I’ve also been looking to replace the rear with dual pivot side pulls as they provide more mechanical advantage. I’ve given up on this as it looks like I can’t get any to suit a 2″ wide rim. So plan B might be 2 x single side pulls on the rear operated from one lever using some sort of cable splitter when I can locate one.

Well I’m sorry if you aren’t a bike geek and you attempted to read this – I did try and warn in the title

Once this weather improves I will be back to riding and taking photos on the way.

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Dates and riders finalised, accommodation booked

Well after talking about it for a long time we have made progress on organising our ride.

Dates 22-24 june 2013

The riders will be:
John Bell – Completed C2C a few time now – lazy trainer and built for comfort, not for speed
Jed Woodhouse – One of the 2 fast riders in our bunch – he should use his MTB to give the resta  chance – it’s NOT a race
Carl Rutter – new to cycling a couple of years ago – has youth on his side (but not experience)
David Senior – could be a dark horse – not sure of his capabilities …. yet!!!
Michael Charlton – Keen to get this milestone under his belt – looking for a comfy saddle
Simon Veit-Wilson – Another fast lad (and showoff) – one of 3 of us who did C2C ina day a few years back

Me

+ 1 other – unknown
And hopefully others joining us for day rides

The daily routes will be:
Day 1 Whitehaven – Penrith

http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=488891

50.36 miles and 3051feet of ascent

Whitehaven penrith  -Route Profile

Whitehaven penrith -Route Profile

Day 2 Penrith – Rookhope
http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=489089

38.86 miles and 4441feet of ascent

Penrith Stanhope - Route Profile

Penrith Stanhope – Route Profile

Day 3 Rookhope – Tynemouth

http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=511396

43.88 miles and 1079feet of ascent

Stanhope Tynemouth - Route Profile

Stanhope Tynemouth – Route Profile

Accommodation(booked)
Www.wayfarershostel.co.uk Penrith
Www.barringtonbunkhouse.co.uk Rookhope

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First outing of 2013 and cycling with a saxophonist – try saying that after a couple

I’ve been itching to get the Chopper out all this year but every weekend seemed to at least be wet and ‘she’ doesn’t do wet!!

Forecast for this weekend was good though so I was determined to go out and also keen to increase the mileage.

Every time I venture out on the chopper I always seem to have one or more fixings which seem to come loose and I can’t carry all the tolls and the bike doesn’t have (intentional) quick release parts like modern cycles.

So, I hatched a plan. I would head down to the Tynemouth and then all being well up the coast to Blyth where I’d arranged I’d be met by Mrs B and our children (giving them the opportunity to visit Ridley Park) and to then put the bike on the carrier for the return trip.

There were also some other things happening which if planned correctly I could coincide with:

  • A friend of mine, Anji Rippon is running various races this year to raise money for Tiny Lives Charity and they were starting one from Baltic Square at 10 so I could catch the start of that (which I did) – interested in sponsoring her? http://www.justgiving.com/AnjiRippon It included a runner carrying a Smeg fridge strapped to his back – and you think I’m bonkers??
  • The Cycle Hub Cafe http://www.thecyclehub.org/ were due to have the first bike jumble of the year.
  • My plan was to cycle to the Baltic to see the runners then over the Millennium Bridge and on the the cafe where I would top up on refreshments before heading down the river to Tynemouth.

The weather was perfect, not wet, windless and not too cold. so off I went. straight down to the Baltic to listen to the runners final briefing then onwards to the Hub with all the stalls already laid out I would drink my cuppa sitting outside whilst punters came past and asked me about the bike.

One guy (who I knew from http://www.recyke-y-bike.org/ ) came to ask where I was headed, the beach I replied and he said there’s a fella on a road bike (Stuart) who is going the same way but doesn’t know the route. I briefly spoke to the roadie before he headed off with my not far behind him and to my surprise I actually caught him up so he asked if I minded if he tagged along – not a problem.

We exchanged stories (whilst avoiding the broken glass grrr) turns out Stuart Johnson had ridden across from his home in Penrith the previous day and stopped at his daughters in Shotley Bridge and was now heading down his others daughters house in Whitley Bay to attend his grandsons birthday – good effort Granda 🙂

Turns out Stuart is a Saxophonist and a list of his achievements can be found here: http://www.stuartjohnson.co.uk/

But more importantly (to me) he’s doing a (cancer charity) trip around the Scottish coastline (2000 miles over 2012/13) and this was part of his training – checkout his blog at http://circumpedalba.wordpress.com/ and donate if you can

Anyway we cycled down and I took the liberty of going out our way slightly to show him the Pedestrian Tunnel under the River Tyne (http://newcastlephotos.blogspot.co.uk/2006/08/tyne-pedestrian-tunnel.html) he seemed very interested in.

Eventually we reached Tynemouth and I phoned Mrs B as planned only the then make too quick a gear change and throw the back sprockets off – unfortunately not a 5 min fix on a Chopper (but all sorted when I got home). So I sent Stuart off on his (birthday party) way but not before he took a photo of the Chopper with the Priory in the background and I sat outside a cafe on Tynemouth Front Street awaiting my rescue and subsequent trip to the park with the children.

Excellent, entertaining company thanks for the ride Stuart

Not the longest ride in history but enjoyable and varied all the same.

A couple of improvements I’ve done over the dark months:

  • I now have a 1.75″ less treaded tyre on the back supplied from a friend in Cornwall – this should help with rolling resistance
  • I’ve also finally managed to purchase the red gear slider indicator so at least I’ll know which gear I’m in.
Photograph courtesy of Stuart Johnson

Photograph courtesy of Stuart Johnson

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Happy 2013 Everyone

To all readers I wish you a very special 2013, may all your expectations be exceeded 🙂

It’s safe to say the Chopper is tucked up for the winter but I have done a couple of jobs on it.

It’s had a clean (to get it back to its former glory)

and

I’ve always had a concern that the 2″ x 20″ knobbly tyre on the back would be slow/er for touring. I’ve done a lot of research but tbh I haven’t find too many options in the 20″ range.

I therefore contacted a friend (who I got to know when I was planning my www.nigelend2end.co.uk ). He’s called Mick Fairhurst, retired, lives in Cornwell and has actually done Lejog on a Chopper towing a trailer – checkout his blog.

Anyway he’d sold his Chopper a while back but just happened to have the actual rear tyre he’d made his successful attempt on together with a brand new version of the same tyre which he said I could have – thanks Mick. This is 1.75″ and not as knobbly as the originals. So now my Chopper is kitted with his rear tyre and it still looks brand new  – let’s hope I can do it justice.

One final job was to replace the original 18t sprocket on back to a 17t on the back which should see me hurtling along on the flats …. maybe NOT!!!!

Apart from that it’s now 2013 and this is the year I intend to do the Coast 2 Coast, hopefully in May. There are number of friends who have also expressed their interest in joining me (I think it’s collectively to enjoy watching me suffer). So far: John Bell, Carl Rutter, Andy Robinson, Martin Thomas, Jed Woodhouse, Simon Veit-Wilson

Well I best get some training mileages in over the coming month whether it be on the Chopper or my tourer …….

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Shouldn’t I be wrapped up for winter?

I have been fearing the onset of winter and the decision to wrap the Chopper in cotton wool only to be reintroduced in the spring so I can continue my training for Coast to Coast 😦

1st November seemed a likely cut off point but, but, but I enjoy riding the bike albeit short distances.

Sunday, 4th of November awoke to a freezing fog covered Tyneside and it looked dismal.

By early afternoon the fog had lifted and I didn’t need a 2nd invite to get my winter togs on and get out on the bike – destination cafe (for a change). I did go via Metrocentre and Scotswood Bridge. The bike certainly turned some heads outside the Metrocentre whilst I was waiting for my Sister in law.

Soon I’d be whizzing down he Newcastle Quayside and unusually there were very few cyclists out – I guess most people would’ve taken one look outside in the morning and settled back in front of the fire looking froward to Sunday lunch 🙂

Down at the cafe I still sat outside and it was very pleasant in the sun as there wasn’t a breath of wind. As the sun started to drop there was good news and bad. The bad was the temperature plummeting but the good was the stunning sunset on the river.

I took a few snaps with my phone to share.

Only mechanical on the bike was the rear brake becoming loose so I tightened it enough to get me home (which it did)

River Tyne at Sunset

River Tyne at Sunset

River Tyne at Sunset
River Tyne at Sunset

River Tyne at Sunset
River Tyne at Sunset

River Tyne at Sunset
River Tyne at Sunset

River Tyne at Sunset
River Tyne at Sunset

River Tyne at Sunset
River Tyne at Sunset

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I received a tweet from none other than…

Today was a day to push the mileage even further to nearly 17miles (steady as I go). It was after all my birthday weekend (thanks for all the birthday wishes) so I decided on the Sunday to go out on the Chopper – the weather was glorious, considering it’s late October and much better than many an August day. I decided to head up the River Tyne as I had before, across the Scotswood Bridge but instead of going straight to the cafe on the Quayside I headed up to Jesmond to have a leisurely cycle up Jesmond Dene. It’s great all year but really stunning with the colourful Autumn foliage etc.  I cycled to the top to the Watermill and then onto the stone bridge which overlooks the waterfall. I stopped for 10 minutes to take some photos and as it happens for others to take photos of the bike which has now become the norm. Then it was off for the drop all the way down to the Quayside – this really highlights how inadequate the brakes are (more tweaks o those to be done later), but I made it for lunch and more questions and photos re the bike before meandering back home along the Quayside (which is always very busy Sunday mornings) and to ‘suffer’ more admiring glances 🙂

Jesmond Dene Watermill

Jesmond Dene Watermill

Jesmond Dene Waterfall
Jesmond Dene Waterfall

Jesmond Dene Waterfall
Jesmond Dene Waterfall

Back to the post title: Normally when you tweet superstars they ignore you (and I can’t blame them).

This time it was different, Mrs B had bought tickets for me to go and listen to Mark Beaumont (of world record holder for cycling around the world fame) give a talk on his adventures to which I was accompanied by John Bell and Tony Stephenson a couple of my  wambling friends!! I responded to one of Mark’s tweets ‘Couldn’t help look suspiciously at everyone at hotel breakfast today after unbelievably enthusiastic noises from the next room all night!’

So this time it was different after he’d checked out my blog he commented ‘Lycra and a Raleigh Chopper – that’s a strong look! Enjoy your ride – see you later’

Fair cop I thought – I’m now wearing camouflaged shorts with lycra underneath 🙂

As a point of interest, if you are anything like me go along and listen to one of his very well presented talks. Details will be published on his site – truly inspirational http://markbeaumontonline.com/

I need to buy his book now 🙂

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I wish I had £1 for…

  • every time just seeing the bike (and realising it’s an original) puts a huge grin on people’s faces
  • every time somebody wants to take a photo
  • every time somebody tells me “they used to own one” – maybe, but where is it now?
  • every time somebody tells me they want to buy one – it’ll cost you!!!

This is what impact original Choppers have on people!! Alan Oakley (Raleigh Chopper inventor) would be proud.

Unusually this weekend I managed to get out for (short) rides on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday I went to see my cousin’s new bike shop www.kbcycles.co.uk which he’s had to relocate due to the recent flooding hit his existing shop – things are moving along there so hopefully they’ll be back in business soon.

I then continued down Newcastle Quayside the Cyclists Hub cafe. There’s nothing like sitting outside on a nice day with a cuppa whilst everyone seems to want to talk Chopper 🙂

On Sunday I was pushed for time so only made it directly to the cafe (and more talking) but on the way back witnessed the Millennium Bridge being lifted to allow a sailing boat underneath – read: photo opportunity – photos included

This week I’m sending off for a chainguard protector as I don’t want to damage the frame if the chain comes off 😦

I also have a new smaller rear sprocket (17 tooth) to replace the 18 tooth original so I’ll have 17/22 combo on the back which hopefully will mean I can make more rapid progress on the flat – go…….

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New Domain Name

As I am getting quite a few hits on the site now I thought I’d make it easier for people to remember the domain name.

I am proud to announce the purchase of www.purplechopper.co.uk

It doesn’t get much easier than that and now you have no excuse not to follow progress 🙂

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An extended run out and a surprise to me

I thought I’d extend my ride out today so ventured out on a 12 miler but still not venturing too far from home in case of any major mechanical issues ( you’d think I wasn’t confident).
Headed west past the Metrocentre where as per normal the bike turned a few heads and caused some smiles.
Once over Scotswood Bridge it was direct east and unusually into a headwind which shows highlights how aerodynamic they are … NOT!!
Whilst heading down the riverside I started to pass a boy and his dad (Mathew and Trevor) and the boy (Mathew Cullen) had an original purple chopper which his dad (Trevor Cullen) had bought. It was interesting swapping stories and I think the dad is now considering doing a full restore – good luck – it’s worth it. I took the rare opportunity of photographing 2 original purple choppers – something you don’t see every day.
Onwards to the cycle hub cafe where loads if other cyclists wanted to come and chat about their memories etc and most amazed that I would attempt the c2c on it.
Some things I have learned do far:

  • They bring a smile to faces
  • They bring back fond memories – I think they may be rose tinted 😉
  • People aren’t shy at shouting CHOPPER as you pass
  • Many people must now have photographic evidence that they’ve spotted an original 1974 Raleigh chopper.
2 Purple Raleigh Choppers

Two Purple MKII Raleigh Choppers. Original on left and restored (mine) on right

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3 Speed Chopper is Now 6 Speed Chopper – checkout the conversion…

Well as most people who know anything about Raleigh Choppers will be aware the majority of them came as 3 speed using internal Sturmey Archer (AW) gears.

They were notorious at slipping in 1st which will cause most men to wince thinking where the gear stick is positioned in relation to our wedding tackle 😦

The gear ratios are 0.75 (1st) 1.00 (2nd) and 1.33 (3rd) and to be honest I haven’t a clue what these figures mean.

Briefly it means: that gearing combined with 145cm cranks (instead of 175cm) and a bike that weighs 45lbs (half a house) and small fat wheels means the bike is ideal to tootle around, posing in town.

But… what I bought the bike for was to attempt the Coast 2 Coast ride which is 140 miles including some very steep/long climbs, namely Whinlatter Pass, Hartside, Garrigill, Nenthead and Crawleyside bank – I’ve gone wobbly at the very thought 😦

Anyway I had decided to change it to a 6 speed with the addition of a bigger rear sprocket (22t) to go alongside the original 18t and adding a derailleur.

My first problem was the bikes never had derailleurs therefore no hanger. To overcome this I asked my neighbour to weld on a homemade hanger prior to the painting process which he did. I’ve since butchered (widened the gap to allow a fat chain to pass through) an old 7 speed derailleur so that it now only goes between the 2 gears (which fitted on the spline once I removed the spoke protector and the 2 spacer shims although it was still tight) I’ve coupled these with a friction shifter on the handlebar stem.

After a lot of adjustments I finally have it working so I have the equivalent of a low and high ratio gear set.

I’ve included some close-up photos so you can check out the conversion.

3 SPEED IS NOW 6 SPEED 🙂

** EDIT: If you are thinking of doing this checkout the later posts to ensure you make the further changes I had to make to overcome the issues I had.

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(3)Trial runs and next steps

Well I’ve now had the chopper ready for a couple of weeks and in total I’ve done 24 miles on it.

It may not have been far but it’s been eventful.

I’ve done 2 trips to The Hub ( a new cyclist cafe on the Quayside in Newcastle, ideally situated on the C2C route) and one trip to work in Newcastle.

On the 2 trips down to the cafe the bike seems to raise a smile wherever I go and  nearly everyone that passes as I drink my tea wants to talk to me about it whether it be: they used to own one, wish they had one, how much are they, how do you restore them and why did I restore mine etc etc I also get a lot of people wanting to take photographs of the finished project. Check the cafe out even if you are a local rider, they do good food and beverages as well as a small workshop and some sales.

My other was a ride to work which, as anyone who know Newcastle will be aware includes a stiff  climb up from the Quayside into the middle of town – this shows the inadequacies of 3 speed internal gears – heaven forbid when I take on my Coast 2 Coast challenge next year.

Anyway, 3 short rides completed and nothing dropped off the bike 🙂

I now have my second 22 tooth gear on the rear to accompany the 18T standard – next step is to attach the rear derailleur and set that up giving a me a total of 6 gears – woohoo. I could also do with working out a way whereby I could make the brakes more efficient but I’m sure I can work on that over the winter!!

 

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First ride along the street to make sure it works (which it does)

Image

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Photos now uploaded

You’ll find them on the Big rebuild page within the restoration section at top of this page

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It’s taken a while but…

the restoration is complete – hoorah 🙂

Once the chopper was returned with the paint on I claimed the glory of putting on the stickers  to then go back to the paintshop to have its final coats of protective lacquer applied – thanks Harry for a great job 🙂

It was then time for the rebuild to start.

I’d decided to replace headset bearings as well as bottom bracket bearings as this was the least the bike deserved after 40’ish years of use.

So it was forks in first followed by handlebars/stem (which I’d cleaned up). Then the (professionally re-upholstered) seat, sissy bar/springs and rack. Closely followed by chain guard and gear lever mechanism. Followed closely (well over a  few days) by brakes, mudguards, wheels then front chainring/pedals and chain. Only thing left was setting the gears up, adjusting the brakes.

And finally the stand attached.

My 1974 purple chopper was ready for it’s first run out, up and down our street anyway.

In my next post I’ll post some photos of the completed project and even one of me riding it.

A huge thanks to Paul, my neighbour who luckily enjoys working on old things (the bike, not me) and if he doesn’t have a tool for the job, he makes one – simples!!

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The frame has colour and …. Stickers

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Alan Oakley, the designer of the Raleigh Chopper dies – RIP

Alan Oakley from Nottingham, designer of the iconic Raleigh Chopper, has died aged 85 after a battle with cancer.

He famously sketched the design on an envelope on a return trip from USA where he’d been inspired.

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Stripping Progress

Well, this weekend I have been stripping all the paint off the frame. Mainly using a wire brush attachment on the drill but for all the awkward areas and there were plenty) it was good old Wet or Dry or Emery paper and elbow grease.

I’ve posted some photos of the stripped frame in the photos section.

Also I received my seat back which has been recovered by my very talented friend Steven – you could easily be fooled into thinking it’s NOS 🙂

I will take photos of the seat and some of the bits I’ve ‘Oven Prided’ – there’s a lot of bling around now.

I reversed the decision to change the original colour and the paint should arrive this week – it’s Vauxhall Rainbow Blue or as I call it Raleigh chopper Purple !!Image

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Progress up to Easter 2012

Well, some parts of the bike were in a sorrier state than I originally thought. But on the bright side some bits were better – hoorah

I had originally intended to make the bike a runner and not take time (and £££’s) on a makeover until I came to try and remove the cissy bars which turned into a nightmare. If it weren’t for my friendly neighbour (Paul) and his father in law (Harry) and their abundance of heavyweight equipment it would still be stuck now. But after using a hydraulic ram (like the jaws of life) and then reverting to a welding torch (to heat the frame up I have little choice but to restore the paintwork of the bike. I investigated colour matches and nearly opted for fizzy lemon as there’s a 98% match in a Ford yellow but have now found a match for the ultraviolet (purple) which is Vauxhall Rainbow Blue. I’ll do all the prep wok and Paul will paint it – happy days.

So it was down to me to get ALL the bits off. Time consuming, frustrating but now done – yaaay

After reading another restoration blog I took their advice and used a product called Oven Pride to clean all the chrome – danger warning, it really does burn your arms if you get it on your skin 😦 on the plus side some of the bits come up like new!!!

Photos are in the photographs section of the blog

I have had to buy the following:

New cables, gear chain, rear mudguard, red T bar gear shifter, brass rivets for the brass heron badge, new seat strap (with warning not to carry passengers), new bearings, 2 brake caliper bolts. One of my friends is going to cover the seat in LEATHER.

I’m just trying to decide if i need any pieces rechromed.

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The Raleigh Chopper Purchase

Well, after watching every MKI or II Raleigh Chopper for weeks that went through Ebay I   discovered they were fetching £200 (for wrecks) to £2800 (for concourse show bikes).

I was after a bargain bike that I might need to do a ‘bit of work’.

I was offered a red (my colour of choice) MKII from a girl from works’ dad for £100 but it looked rough (and a project too far for me) so passed on it but Richard, one of my colleagues who bought it for his wife – this is now his project!

I was outbid on a couple of Ebay bikes until a 1974 MKII came up in purple(hmmm), had to be collected from Gorbridge, just south of Edinburgh so I contacted the seller and asked for a buy it now price – he said £250 – truth be told, if he’d said £150 I would’ve bought it.

I took the chance with the auction and placed my faith in http://www.auctionstealer.co.uk a highly recommended auction snipe site and my cheeky max was £110. It finished Friday afternoon and surprisingly I won it for £67 🙂 so off to Gorbridge he next day for pickup. The bike was  definately a  non-runner and looking REALLY sorry for itself but the owner had a bag of bits he’d bought with the intention of restoring it but hadn’t got around to fitting any. Checkout the photos section to see how sorry it was looking.

Now I had my bike, I just needed to establish which bits I still needed to try and source them to make my bike a runner.

To be continued…..

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