Bicycle Diaries: Reflections

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Today I'm in Raleigh 3speed paradise. I found the mother of all 3speed organizations on the web: The Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour. Noel Robinson and Jon Sharratt founded this Minnesota touring group back in 2003. Every year in May they gather together Raleigh lovers in Red Wing for a two-day, 85 mile role to Wabasha and back. Like the wheelmen groups, they are dedicated to vintage bikes. Unlike the wheelmen, their focus is the mid-2oth Century or as they describe at their website, cycling through the Golden Era of English cycle touring: the 1930s.

I'm seriously thinking of going in 2007. As many of you know I really love that which rolls, my '62 Raleigh Gazelle. Although it's not from the 30s, it's a classic. I've tried to honor the time period with a Brooks saddle, leather tool bags, as well as bottle generator with rear and front lights. On the other hand, as an urban ultility roller, it has a huge scooter mirror, red plastic Target basket, and Continental tires. So I'm wodnering if I'll be able to join them. The website describes the tour as being
based on cycle touring in pre-war England. It was a gentlemanly time; few people owned a car and recreation based on automobiles was extremely limited. To get away for the weekend they would pack a few things, mount up and head to the country ... To gain a better perspective, here is a list of some of the things we leave behind: derailleurs, lycra, target heart rates, SPD, SIS, STI, HRM, XTR, etc. There will be no sprinting, spinning, drafting nor will there be any carbon fiber, drillium or unobtanium. Please note we are not advocating being a retro-grouch or ridicule those with alloy handlebars but instead we are asking you to strip away all you know modern cycling to be and hop aboard your £5 Thrift Store Raleigh and come with.
That which rolls also has these incredibly cool pinstripe reflective strips. What makes them cool is that they're virtually invisible during the day. A lot of bikers have these bright fluorescent orange or green strips which would look like hell on my flat black frame. So I spent about three months trawling the web for suitable alternatives.

I finally found them two weeks ago at Reflectively Yours. It's a family business that traces its roots back to 1937 when Grampa Vick launched his successful mail order business out of Gelenview, NY. I usually don't do product endorsements; however, their 3M products are fantastic and relatively cheap.

I took the pictures here in daylight with the flash on. As you can see, it doesn't take much secondary light to brighten up the strips. When I ride at night, which is often, car lights give them an almost neon glow that can be seen for several hundred meters.

I will definitely be rolling the night more often. Perhaps ... I'll even get the chance to do a few rolling dates!?!?!?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


thanks for the link to my blog.

I read your lighting article. That "Reflectively
Yours" site was an awesome find! I'm going to order
some of their pinstripe stuff because my current
reflective decals are a bit shoddy.

Thanks again,

23/1/07 17:18  

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