Raleigh Record Ace
The next bike was a Raleigh 'Record Ace' in absolutely fabulous condition, which I bought from another lecturer at the Tech, David Armes. It too was built from 531 tubing and I still have it now, although recent events have allowed me to retire it from 'active service' It still has all of its original fixtures and fittings and has been with me now for many thousands of miles and close on 20 years. The original supplying dealer sticker 'Walvale cycles, Liverpool' is still in perfect condition too! The only thing I have changed (apart from tyres) was the saddle, as I have had my Wrights one for a huge number of years and is the best ever - a bit like a Brooks B17.
This is the Record Ace in November of 2003, you can't quite see the detail, but it nestles nicely on the mid-rail of the shed, with a swinging wooden hook affair to catch hold of the top tube - keeps it out of harm's way.
On one trip with the Guys from the Hospital where I am gainfully employed, we were having a lunch/rest stop in the middle of Londonderry, when an old chap started quizzing us about about this bike of mine "I probably built that - I used to work at the factory when they were current models" and we went on to chat about the old days - these bikes are great conversation pieces aren't they? It has 12 speed Sun Tour mechs and Weinmann brakes and will now get some TLC which it deserves.
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