Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Remembering my 1st 10 Speed

Well this is not exactly it because mine was badged as a Rudge but this appears to be the same bike as Raleigh bought the Rudge line in it's last years.  This catalog page is from the 1962 Raleigh catalog.  I bought this bike with some money from a paper route and some from gifts.  I rode the bike all around the Chatham NJ area.  It came equipped with Cyclo derailleur similar to this pull chain model.
It was not very good and I soon bought an early plastic Simplex of the more modern parallelogram design. The Rudge was green and had white plastic fenders, GB side pull brakes and a handle bar mounted double water bottle holder.  It also had a Brooks seat.  Here is some info on the Rudge company.  This one I had had the Rudge headbage.  It also had a headlight mount about half way down the right fork tube.

I rode this bike through college and then gave it to my sister in Chapel Hill where it was left outside and later stolen.  I wonder if it would be worth anything today.  I have never seen another one.

When in the USAF I bought a Sears Freespirt about 1973.  It was somewhat heavy but ran pretty well and I commuted often from Bossier City to Barksdale AFB which was about 9 miles each way.  I would then ride to the chow hall for lunch and back home maybe doing an errend or visiting a friend on the way home.  On weekends I would sometimes go for a longer ride with a friend and got comfortable going 50-75 miles on Sunday afternoons riding around Shreveport in the heat of the summer.  

One day I was hit by a car turning right when I was next to them.  It bent the wheel and the frame a bit but I repaired it and continued riding it while in LA.

In 1976 I returned to VA after my time in the USAF and bought a used 1971ish Peugeot PX-10.  This bike had a Reynolds 531 frame and tubular 'sew up' tires.  It was a real light weight and was comfortable to ride long distances.  The frame was 'springy' and it had a somewhat long wheelbase compared to bikes of today.  
PX-10 1967

Modern Pix of a Used PX-10

After the PX-10 was crashed I purchased the Roberts Frame and used the wheels, seat and handlebars from the PX-10.  The frame was bent and repaired but I left it at the bike shop has it had been severely heated and the paint and decals were gone.  I rode a number of PPTC club rides and some centuries on this bike.

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