Bicycle Diaries: <i>Robin Hood</i> is back

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Robin Hood is back

or how I'm spending
my summer vacation

Every self respecting roller should have a summer bike project. Originally mine was to build a bamboo bike with instructions I got from Carry Freedom, a UK non-profit. I haven't started. Frankly I don't need it. The Steele Bitch has a black Wald basket over the rear fender. It's certainly big enough for my shopping needs; besides, where would I store the thing in my third floor flat?

Instead I've been working on that which rolls, my other bike: a '71 Raleigh Robin Hood. It was basically an impulse buy. At the beginning of the summer, Beaterbike Simmons and a new buddy, John, discovered it in a pile at the back of the 2nd floor warehouse of WorkingBikes. We'd all gone there to volunteer and scrounge for parts.

I had absolutely no intention of getting a second bike. On the one hand, if there wasn't enough storage space for a bamboo bike cart, why would I compound the issue with a second bike? And on the other, I've tried to steer clear of the dreaded bike fetish. As a confirmed utility biker, who's trying to simplify his life, I'd rather avoid the slippery Lycra slope towards rolling around on a different bike each day of the week.

That being said, I was sorely tempted: first by my buddies and then by the fact my first utility bike, that which rolls, was a '56 Robin Hood. Was is the significant tense here. It got ripped off 4 years ago when I was away working in China & India. The new Raleigh was also in pretty good condition with nearly all its original parts.

So I got it ...

And over the next few weeks I'll be posting a blow-by-blow on the joys ... and THE frustrations of restoring a classic ride.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Where did you get the robin hood decal artwork from? I've ben searching around for ages but have had no luck! Do you have a link to the site, or a larger image?


28/3/10 12:39  
Blogger katnerg said...

H Lloyd Cycles ( probably has the largest collection of decals and cycle transfers anywhere. Also, troll about eBay. There's a gent in Thailand who also regularly offers up vinyl decals from time to time. Good luck!

30/3/10 11:34  

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