After many inspiring visits here already, I've finally succumbed to the fantastic world of Retrobike.
Some weeks back, I suffered a bad stack and knee injury riding through South Bank on my commute home across London. The down time spent recovering has allowed thoughts of a complete bike renovation to grow louder. I can no longer shrug off the hankering for my old shreddin' days.
These days began when I acquired a Raleigh Arena from a house mate during college in late 80s Cardiff. Tidy. The Arena became possessed by the 'Spirit of Clunkers', sporting the fattest tyres possible for an ever increasing urge to off-road Caerphilly Mountain. The Arena did eventually see sense, going to a good home when a 2nd hand Marin Palisades came my way. The Marin's luminous yellow forks were soon replaced by early Rock Shox. Many happy days were spent on big rides shreddin' the trails of South Wales with it. Unfortunately, 'Light Fingered Freddy' took the Marin away one day.
After a few 'inbetweener' bikes and a move back to my home town in West Yorkshire, I bought an Orange Clockwork frame with P7 forks in 1993 and built up my own bike in earnest. A few more years were then spent riding the moors above Huddersfield and Halifax and beyond, before normal life intervened.
Fast forward to 2010 and a life now lived in London. A visit to help clear out my parents place in Yorkshire before they downsized, reunited me with the old Clockwork. It had been under wraps in their basement since 1996. The Clockwork came down to London with me.
Following a reassessment of life, it was brought back into road worthy service as a commuter bike. Unfortunately, the old Smoke and Darts were a little too flaky round the edges to trust, so I settled with Race Kings, which fly on tarmac.
The distances were gradually increased until the expensive annual season ticket was ditched last December. The year was spent hacking the Clockwork back and forth across London being inspired on by 2012's glorious cycling events. Enfield to Wimbledon and back.
The old bomb proof Clockwork is now resting in pieces in the shed, waiting to see the new light of day, powder coated and fully restored, once I'm fit enough. Retrobike will hopefully help keep the spirits up as I prepare to embrace my impending mid-life crisis.
Meanwhile, here's 2 pics of the Clockwork before the high mileage and a slice of London's hell took its toll.