3 years ago I saw an ad for a steel track frameset, my size, within my budget and looking good. So off I went to Bristol to pick it up. I arrived, checked the frame and agreed to make the transaction. It was a mid 70s silver enamelled Carlton, badged as a Marcarini, lovely it was, Fischer crown and everything. Yes please. But before I swapped my cash for the merchandise he offered to show me another frameset. “OK” I said. He then brought this out: A 1976 Team Raleigh track SB969 in ‘the’ colourway.
Dilemma. I’d always wanted one of these and this was again my size. It looked a bit tatty and the fork was rusted to within an inch of it’s life but then it’s not everyday someone presents you with one of these in your size. Even though the Raleigh was in much poorer condition to the Carlton he wanted more money for it. More than my budget. I got him to put wheels in both, stand them up side by side and I stared at them for a bit. The mental tussle went on for half an hour and then Bang! it finally happened. I saw the potential in that Red, yellow and black, I had chosen to burn the budget and I had bought the Raleigh.
Three years later and I still use it daily, rain or shine. It is scratched, battered and bruised but continuing to work like a beautifully oiled machine, hell it is a beautifully oiled machine! I love it and I can’t see it leaving my hands anytime soon. I’v had many bikes since this has been around but they’ve all gone to new homes, all except one.
I want to live in southern France one day and when I do I want this in the lounge.