It was back in the heady days of late '79 I first realised I'd 'got the bug'. As a young teen, a succession of earlier bogeys was supplanted with a first drop-handlebared mosheen - a 'Kalkhoff Turbo Twelve'
. Complete with fork-mounted Ever-Ready lights and a pair of trainers, I'd set out to blitz my local (Alva) course in emulation of the papered hero, Hinault. It was hard - but I loved the machine as we ploughed.
By the following summer I'd managed to convince my dad that Reynold's was the stuff, so in autumn '81 we had a look. At Billy Bilslands and Dales (Glasgow) were 753 and Duralinox 979's, wonderful machines with Campag Super Record. Being even then a tight git, I suggested we go try 'Pedal Power', ex-Cowane Street, Stirling. Top of the range was the Raleigh. Nnaw ... too much. I was 'over the moon' when for three-hundred and fifteen quid, I was soon to be the proud possesor of a 'Gran Sport'
. Superb bike that just needs ridden.
. A couple of times a year I'd do Callander - Loch Tay- Alva, 125 miles in six and a bit, tho once with major help from jammy peices when totally 'bonked' half-way up the climb.
That's my ambition: to replicate even without aka Kelly