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DSC01126 | by Rowan of Ravara
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Ahh, this is "Rusty", a 1929 Raleigh. It was bought in poor condition at an antiques shop in Saintfield, Co. Down for £10 in 1995. I started to restore it, but as a teenager I lacked the skills and capital. The bike was eventually consigned to under a tree, where it stayed for a couple of years, then was moved indoors, a twig-like ball of rust. Finally, in 2004 I put it back on road, most of the original components were restored; made usable again, to my amazement (and, probably, the dispair of my housemates). The bike is original except for the tyres & tubes, brake blocks, saddle clamp (I lost the original at some point, annoyed about that), freewheel, basket and spokes.


Those are 40-spoke 28" wheels, bolt-on seat stays, 1/8" 18t freewheel, cottered crankset with 46t chainring, rod operated rim brakes and a bouncy Brooks B9S saddle. There is a transfer on the frame indicating the bikeshop in which Rusty was bought by its original owner. This is badly degraded, but I can just about make out that it was bought in either Lisburn, or the Lisburn Road in Belfast (Northern Ireland).


These old Raleighs were built to last and give a "Superbe" ride! The paintwork is not in great condition, although there are places where plenty of the original enamel and double red-gold box lining is intact. This bicycle would have looked amazing when it was new, but I also like the patina of age and years of misstreatment- hence the name "Rusty".

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Taken on April 11, 2007