|My two similar Europe design Moth Boats. One is a beautiful woodie the other is the boat Meg Gaillard|
used in the 2004 Olympic Games at Athens. Which one will I take to Gulfport? Decisions, decisions...
Currently Bowie, Maryland is enjoying a rare couple of days of 70 degree weather in the middle of what is generally the coldest month of the year. I don't plan on launching into a discussion about global warming or whether or not human activity is contributing to that other than to say as long as I don't have to shovel anything I'm not going to complain. The warm temps have gotten me thinking about my bicycles resting in the garage since last November (yes, I'll admit it: I'm a cold wimp).
While I'm rummaging around in the garage looking for boat parts I may as well introduce you to one of my bikes: A Raleigh Team Pro Replica from the early 1980s. I picked this little bike up after seeing her malinger through several bid cycles on a certain popular on-line auction site without attracting a single bid. The seller relisted the bike for one final time stating that if nobody bid this time he'd break her for parts. The bike although missing her head badge was unmistakably a Raleigh Team Professional Replica, i.e. built to the design of Gerald O'Donovan but constructed at Raleigh's main Worksop factory rather than the SBDU or Special Bicycle Development Unit in Derbyshire. I also have a pukka SBDU Team Pro frame but I'll talk about that one in a later post.
The bike in question retained a mish-mash of period correct Campagnolo Nuovo Record components, but mostly with Campag patent dates which were slightly out of sync with the age of the frame. However, the most curious aspect of this machine was that the frame had been repainted an attractive but admittedly unauthentic shade of blue and sported an unusual name painted on both sides of the down tube:"Raimo Ahti". I think the combination of odd component dates, and that paint job contributed to the reason why this particular bike failed to attract the lust and bidding frenzy from the usual bike snob crowd that lurks in the dark corners of "Flea-bay".I placed the minimum opening bid and waited to be snipped at the last second. Much to my amazement that didn't happen and I won the auction.
|Raimo Ahti's Raleigh Team Pro Rep|
Raimo, now in his 70s, still skis. I was able to track him down via contact with a Finnish-American cultural society up in Massachusetts and we exchanged some enjoyable letters. Someday I hope to get up to his neck of the woods and shake his hand in person. It's not every day you meet a multi-discipline champion via flea-bay! This man very definitely has "sisu". As for the mish-mash of component dates on the bike it boils down to this: Raimo was a racer, stuff broke during events and he replaced them with whatever a local bike shop had on hand without worrying about what a bunch of collectors might think years later. To me those mismatched patent dates are a silent testament to the bike's racing history and make her all the more special. I also like the Finnish blue paint job and will always keep Raimo's name on the down tube. I told him that I do plan to change one little thing: I'm going to paint the lug cut-outs on the frame bright yellow since my bride is a Svenska fickor!
|Heart shaped lug cut outs will soon be Swedish yellow.|