Robin Hood is back
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.