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Type: Hybrid 21-speed
Purchased: Spring 1990 from The Wheel Shop, Aurora, IL
Components: Push-button shifters
The Raleigh was my first decent quality multi-speed bike. It cost around $300, which was a fair amount of money for a college student in 1990. Although I rode it around my subdivision sometimes, most of my riding was on the local bike trails: the Fox River Trail, the Virgil Gilman Trail and the Illinois Prairie Path. After I graduated from college, I rode sometimes at Busse Woods Forest Preserve after work. I also rode it a few times after moving to Chicago in 1994. My future wife and I rode together once at Busse Woods when we were dating.
When we bought our house in 1998, I didn't ride it at all. It just sat in the garage. Then in 1999, on the day we came back from our honeymoon, my Raleigh and my wife's bike were stolen from our garage. The electric door opener had malfunctioned, leaving the door open. The thief had ditched a junk bike and stolen ours. A police officer came and wrote a report. He also took the junk bike. Actually, he asked me to "give him a hand with it" and then stood there watching me put it in the trunk of the squad car. Heck, at least the thief had left me a junker, but now I didn't have anything. A detective called me once to let me know he had been assigned our case, but the bikes never turned up.
I hardly rode the Raleigh for the last few years I owned it, but I was really upset about losing it this way. There were a lot of memories in that bike (my wife didn't understand why I was so upset then, but I think she might now that I have so many bikes). It was another year before I replaced it with a Cannondale hybrid. Perhaps it was a blessing since it got me back into cycling. Although the misbehaving door opener was replaced, I never kept a bike in the garage again.
Copyright © 2002-2013 David Johnsen. All rights reserved.