She was, I have to say, very relaxed about
my confession,maybe she is just getting
used to it...
piece of British iron, goes back to my very first interests in
classic racing bicycles....
The first serious racing bike I acquired, just as part of
a swap, was a late 70's Team Raleigh.
Although it was to big for me, and I knew nothing about
racing bikes, I instantly realized that
this was something special.
Being the slightly obsessive type, I spent the next
little while learning all I could about top end Raleigh's.
As I was also then already developing a bad habit for 1950's
British style cycle racing culture, and I had an existing sort of
loyalty for the Raleigh brand, the RAA became
the obvious machine of my desires.
What I really liked about the RRA, was all the small
stuff Raleigh made especially for their flagship model.
You know other makers might get their name/logo stamped
into a component or two, but Raleigh went all out,
for the RRA, starting with a specific
set of slim, profiled cranks, and chain ring.
An absolutely beautiful sculptured chrome saddle bag support,
that came with it's own bag (of course).
Ultra stylish alloy wing nuts for the
No Weight Blumels mud guards.
And my favourite bit, the very modern (for 1950) pedals.
The whole pedal body is alloy, with steel cage, featuring the
famous Heron Raleigh logo.
out, they weren't imported into New Zealand, so
unless I could strike it lucky, and find one brought over
privately, I was out of luck, because finding one in the
UK is neither cheap, or easy, and getting a whole bike
like this brought over is very expensive,
well to much for me anyway.
So you can inagine my pleasure, when, about six months ago
a chap I was buying some bikes from, mentioned that he had
"an old RRA" at his bach, if I was interested..was I!
He talked it down, saying that it had been converted into a
town hack by the previous owner, and not to get to excited.
He obviously doesn't know me that well..
So cut forward to last weekend, I arrive at his house, after a
very long drive, and see, what looks to be a old Raleigh Sport
parked up his drive.
I quickly notice the chrome fork ends, so know this is the RRA.
My slight disappointment, instantly turns to real joy when I
start looking it over...
It still has it's saddle support in place, and GB Hiduminium
The original paint and decals are in pretty good order,
and wedge,all up weight 170grams, not bad.
For a more indepth look at the RRA history visit Peter Kohler's
great articles on ipernity