Sunday, April 22, 2018

1941 Schwinn New World - Good Weather

More good weather today - time to keep dusting off and getting bikes going again for the season. I have not ridden this Schwinn New World since the end of last season, so time for a ride. This maroon color has a "very 1940s" look to it.

It's a nice, simple old bike.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

April 21 - Schwinn Continental 3-Speed

Over the past few years, I have inadvertently been keeping ride "logs" of sorts on my hard drive. When I take photos of my rides, I make a folder with the date on which the photos were taken, and add the pictures to that folder.

My folders for day "April 21" show that I was able to ride on April 21, 2016 (1946 Hercules Model C); April 21, 2017 (Raleigh Sprite 5-speed); and now April 21, 2018 (1947 Schwinn Continental). That means, I guess, that our weather has been generally good on April 21 for the past several years.

Given that our weather has been gradually getting warmer, and with the corrosive road salts gone now, I decided to take out one of my rarer, better bikes: the 1947 Schwinn Continental. The condition on this bike is extraordinary and it's a fun rider. I love this color blue and the silver "wing" graphics on the frame. The only thing I wish is that the fenders were also this blue color, with little silver pinstripes. That would be killer, but Schwinn didn't do that on this bike. Anyway, the stainless fenders will do just fine.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Raleigh Sprite 5-speed on the Road: Warm Weather

85 degrees and sunny here today - this calls for a lively bicycle to really get in some good exercise. The Raleigh Sprite 5-speed offers the excellent handling and proportions of the Raleigh Sports platform, but with an up-rated, 5-speed internal gear hub - the Sturmey Archer S5.

This particular Sprite I have had for a few years now, and it is in excellent shape. I really love the bronze green paint on this bike. It really was a deluxe offering for anyone who liked the Raleigh Sports 3-speed, but wanted a little more performance.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Raleigh Export Model - Spring Ride

Even a little warmer today... Out and about on this Raleigh export model roadster. The cherry blossoms are also out.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Slowly Getting Going Again

The weather in the later phases of this winter has been rough. Winter started off mild enough - the first few weeks of December were mild, and I was still riding as late as the end of the second week of December.

But shortly after Christmas, the weather turned extremely cold. The Potomac froze over completely, which is a very rare event here in Virginia. The temperature stayed below freezing entirely and there were bursts of snow and ice.

January - March was not much better, though we were lucky enough to have a very warm day (50s-60s) occasionally. We've had a lingering winter here, with temperatures around freezing every morning until the first week of April. This is also unseasonably cold. Temperatures during the day have generally been only around 50, though we've been lucky enough to have a couple of warmer days in April.

But slowly, things are beginning to warm. Today was into the mid-50s, so I got a chance to take my 1974 Raleigh Sports for a ride. All it needed was a little air in the tires, and it ran just as well as it did when I put it away in the fall. These old Raleigh 3-speeds are very reliable and often can run well on just basic maintenance and storage.

The weather is saying temperatures into the 60s and 70s as this week progresses, so I hope to get back out several times for more rides.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Banjo Brothers Rack Top Bag and Raleigh Twenty

It was unseasonably warm here today, making it up to 62 degrees (F). With such warm temperatures, that meant a day to slip in a ride around the area.

I received for Christmas a brand new Banjo Brothers Rack Top bag. I specifically asked for this item because I thought it might go well on my Raleigh Twenty. Many of the old Raleigh folding bikes had "carry-all" bags strapped to the rear rack. These bags sat on top of the rack and acted like a bin for carrying books, groceries, or what-have-you.

Sure enough, the Rack Top bag was a success on the Raleigh. The bag uses long, velcro straps to tie down to the rack top, while there is also a small pull-strap to steady the bag to the seat post or frame of the bike. In this case, the strap is a little helpful, but the velcro straps are pretty secure by themselves.

The bag is of a tough, nylon cloth type construction, with some reflective touches on the outside edges. The zipper has two sliders on it, and it zips open and closed smoothly. The Banjo Brothers logo is prominently displayed on the top of the bag.

The bag has a good amount of storage space. I was able to fit my cell phone (a big brick of a thing); my wallet; my glasses with their case; my keys; and some mail quite easily, with room to spare.

Overall, I am happy with this bag, and it fits nicely on this bike. This Raleigh Twenty from the early 1970s has a nice, utilitarian feel, but is still a blast to ride. Just make sure you remember your pedal ground clearance is very low. I think this is a going to be a great, useful set up for hobby riding around the area, or even taking on vacation with me.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Winter Riding with a Raleigh DL-1

It was a cold, windy day here. However, most of the road salt has dissipated because we recently had two warm, rainy days. While it was cold, the clearer roads gave me a chance to take this 1963 Raleigh DL-1 Export Model out for a ride.

The large wheels and wide tires go well over gravel roads - much more so than a regular Raleigh Sports bike.

After about 75 minutes, it was time to head home and get warm again. But it was my first time out on the road in about a month. I've put my Raleigh Grand Prix on a roller for practice indoors, but there's no substitute for real, over-the-road riding.