18 August 2010

Letting Go

This is the ad I posted on craigslist:

Vintage Raleigh Alyeska Touring Bike

Classic loaded touring bike, purchased new in 1988. It has been greatly loved, gently ridden, and well cared for. After sitting for a while it needs new tires and general maintenance, but otherwise is in excellent condition. Includes cateye cyclocomputer, two water bottle holders.

Color - Bordeaux/Rose
Frame Size - 21"
Frame - 555 chrome moly double-butted main tubes
Frame/Drop-outs - Forged vertical
Fork - High tensile, forged end, low rider braze-on
Handlebar - Kusuki WPR-B randonneur style
Stem - Kusuki "WIN" AH
Seatpost - Alloy micro-adjust
Crankset - S.R. Triple one-piece forged alloy. Detachable alloy rings 50/45/32 -- 170mm
Freewheel - 14-30 -- 6 speed -- gold
Hubs - Sansin RE-50, large flange alloy. Q.R -- sealed, 36° front, 40° rear
Gearing - 18 speed -- 29 to 96
Front Derailleur - Shimano Z206
Rear Derailleur - Shimano Z505GS
Shifter - Shimano Z408 down tube braze-on
Brakes - Dia-compe 960/161 gum hoods, alloy cantilever
Rims - Araya SP-30 27 x 1 1/4 alloy, 36° front, 40° rear
Tires - 27 x 1 1/4 skin wall
Pedals - S.R. SP 154, alloy quill type
Grips - Grab On foam

There's no point keeping it. It's not like I'm going to be able to ride it anymore, and it doesn't fit Tuffy. But still.

I bought it when I lived in Michigan. Lansing is a great place to ride a bike. In five minutes you're out of town, on country roads. No traffic to speak of. No hills. Of course, you've got to like cornfields. We had plenty of destinations. There was the ice cream store in DeWitt, the Quality Dairy in Mason, the dairy store at MSU, the place in Wacousta that made killer shakes and meatball sandwiches. No wonder I never lost any weight riding that darned bike.

Tuffy went for her first bike ride when she was four months old, riding in a car seat strapped into a Cannondale bike trailer. (She was born in the middle of December; we didn't get decent riding weather until April.) Scarecrow pulled the trailer and I rode behind, watching a little hand or foot appear above the edge of the car seat. Scarecrow was a much stronger rider than I, but that trailer was the great equalizer. Pack it with stuff for a weekend camping trip, and I could keep up, no problem.

Several people have responded to the ad. There are a lot of bicyclists in Seattle, and it's a pretty cool old bike. Somebody will take it.

But I will be sorry to see it go.


  1. I think I know how you feel. It is hard to let go of a piece of one's past. I just handed my mountain bike over to my daughter. It's not so much the loss of that bike I am grieving...but rather the loss of the sense of accomplishment that comes from cycling up that big hill, and the exhilaration and freedom experienced as you "fly" all the way down the other side.

  2. Ouch. Can't say much more than that.

    Hope you find someone who really appreciates it.

  3. It will be SCOOPED up! My partner from Rochester, MI had a bike just like that circa 1970. Broke her heart to sell it, but life goes on.

  4. I second the ouch.
    When I gave Billy my Harley to sale for the same dang reason really it was a major suck fest.

    I guess knowing the lady who ended up buying it was so excited sort of kind of made it seem right?


  5. Well instead of adding another "ouch" to the chorus I'll say this: if you don't sell it, why not look online for something...unusual you can do with the vintage bike?

    Whoops. You're not vintage. The bike is. =)

  6. Funny, I think I stole a bike just like that once, oh the memories.


  7. Don't want to rain on your parade, but I wouldn't want it! :) What's with speeds and hand brakes? I still own an ancient Schwinn Men's Cruiser Bike. Only speeds are how fast I peddle and if I want to brake I back-peddle or drag my feet.:)

    Caregivingly Yours, Patrick