This evening I brought back home the Orange P7 I bought new around 1993.. its a long time ago, but I remember the day I bought it, and bringing it home then, in the back of 2.8 Capri ..
But lets go back a few years.. In the mid 80's I had a lovely Pearl white and blue Raleigh Road Ace, first bike I had with a Shimano group set. I loved that bike, till it got nicked, I was gutted.. Anyway, luckily the house insurance paid up, £350, which was a lot of money back then. No idea why but I went out and bought one of those new fangled Mountain bikes.. A Raleigh Appalachian, with its oval chain rings and stick of rock colours scheme.. turquoise, white and pink, Reynolds 531 frame. At the time it was one down from the most expensive MTB Raleigh made.. that was black and very cool, but cant recall its name. I had that a few years but didn't use it much, as it was really a little small for me and I was busy earning a living. I sold it to a mate at work, and bought an Orange Clockwork instead. This was much better, lighter, more nimble and it fit me. A year or two later my brother wanted an MTB. so I sold it to him, which gave me the excuse to buy the then new P7.
I put a lot of miles on my trusty P7, but five ago finally replaced it with a Scott Scale 20, Carbon Frame and suspension forks! The P7 was relegated to the back of the garage and only used when I went on errands and had to leave it locked up somewhere, something I wouldn't do with my Scott.
Then I lent it out to a mate who'd had his own DH bike nicked, that was five years ago, and today I got it back
. Pretty much the same as it left me, except the Stem has been changed.. apparently it snapped! and one of the shifters has been replaced.
The nickel plated lacquered frame is still mint, as are the original wheels and cranks etc, so it would be nice to find an original stem (SK8?).
Oh, and it seems my Clockwork is still sitting in my brothers shed, hardly used and still original..think I may offer him a few quid to get it back.
Finally, I'd love to get another Road Ace, it'll have to just like the one I had, in pearl white and blue. I just missed a really nice one on Ebay a few weeks ago, but I'll keep an eye out. I don't know if spares are still available, but if they are, I'm sure I could restore one to good as new.