Your webmaster is a student at Macquarie University. I am in my early 20's and was into cycling for about 12 months before acquiring a Raleigh Twenty frame and beginning the work to refurbish it. During my first months into cycling I began to volunteer at the Western Sydney Cycling Network's recycling program, where donate or collected old bicycles are mechanically overhauled and then given out on loan to members of the community.
I do a mixture of commuting and touring by bicycle. I'm no racer and I will take a long time to climb hills. I cycle for many reasons, which include: leisure, fitness, being green, and out of the need for a cheap and reliable way of getting around. I now only drive the family car once or twice a week at most.
If you want to get into contact with stories, questions, etc please feel free to drop me an email at: email@example.com
"RADAR" - The one that started it all.
1975 Raleigh Twenty, December 2009
(Currently in under renovation - Feb 2012)
"RADAR" - Really A Damned Awesome Ride! (Actually I just made that up on the spot). I figured that the personality of this bicycle reminded me rather much of Corporal Walter "RADAR" O'Reilly from M*A*S*H, being small, but sturdy, useful and ever-ready. The front forks and rear mudguard were given to me by a friend who was re-building his Raleigh Twenty as a speedster with suspension forks. I plan to turn this one into a tourer with a Shimano 11-speef hub in the future.
1977 Raleigh Twenty (non-folding) February 2010
I also acquired a brown non-folding Twenty dating from 1977. It has the larger but narrower ETRTO 451 rims. The tyres are 12mm narrower than the ones pictured above, and with the 3-speed gearing it is a surprisingly sprightly and nimble machine. I've found it better to alter the gearing by using a 16-tooth sprocket on the rear instead of the stock 15-tooth sprocket. The spread of gears suits my riding style better, giving gears of approx. 45, 60 and 80 gear inches. It features in several other pictures on the website. I rode it in the 2010 Sydney Tweed Ride and the 2010 Canberra Tweed Ride. I also used it quite regularly for going all places locally. This bicycle was perfect for 90% of my needs. The only improvement I could have made would have been alloy rims.
In 2011 I left Macquarie University and began attending Campion College. This bicycle was stolen from outside my College dormitory in late 2011 along with several other communal bicycles held on site. In 2012 a much more stringent security arrangement will be in place to prevent theft.
I acquired a similar Raleigh Twenty, although somewhat worse for wear in January 2012. My new one differs in that it has a Sturmey-Archer Dynohubin the front wheel, and includes the original rear, rack, mudguard-mounted tail-light and reflector unit, the chainguard, the original grip-shifter, and the one-piece handlebars. It needs a bit of work as both the gear cable and the rear brake cable are completely seized. This one will be a parts donor - in particular the brown mudguards will help to "uglify" RADAR a little whilst I save up for components to rebuild it as a folding tourer.
1982 Raleigh Royal - Touring Bicycle, Earl 2011
(Several minor changes made)
I also own a few full-sized large-wheel bicycles. Just to give you an idea, the above is a 23.5" 60cm Raleigh Royal, from 1982 - (My youngest bicycle - still older than me!) It has had a "sympathetic rebuild". The paint is all original and has a lovely patina about it. I used a mixture of vintage used and NOS items to build it up. It appears as an early-mid 1980's touring bicycle that has received modifications during it's lifetime. Basically, all the parts are period (or close to period). The use of the MTB-style stem was inspired by Sheldon Brown.
I took it on a tour where the freewheel promptly seized on day 2, at exactly the half-way point. Luckily, I was able to hitch-hike out to the nearest township and then on to the next city where I was able to take a train home. I'm determined to complete the trip some day.