Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Raleigh and how oil kicks off 2008

This summer I wrote about my Dad and his old Raleigh, which he gets quite the kick out of owning just for the novelty value of it. Just before Christmas he was at a garage sale and picked up another old Raleigh, this one for $50.00.

It's a Raleigh Sprite, with a five speed Suntour rear derailleur. I checked the gears and they were working okay, until Dad and I shifted a bit too far and the chain flew off the biggest ring down into the spokes.
Raleigh Sprite

As you can see from this photo, it even has a generator and lamp and an old-school horn!
Raleigh sprite 3

I find it pretty funny that ever since I got into cycling, bikes have woven themselves into my Dad's brain. I like his original blue and white Raleigh a lot more than this one, but I might poke around and see if I can find how much this bike would go for.

Or maybe not! Since oil hit $100.00 / barrel today, and since OPEC is saying that they will not be able to meet their share of oil supply by 2037, maybe I should horde all the bikes i can get my hands on!


I've written about peak oil before, and gloated about how bikes will take over the empty freeways, but maybe I'm about due for my rude awakening to peak oil reality. This morning Michael Hlinka was predicting on CBC that by the end of 2008 we will consider $100.00 to be the normal price for oil. Except for the fact that I'm a cyclist, I'm as reliant on oil as everyone else. My plastic sandwich bags are made out of oil, and the apples I bought at the supermarket tonight made their way to me here in Orillia via oil. In reality, I'll be as screwed as all the SUV drivers if peak oil hits as hard as it could.

Jan. 2, 2008. This could be a big day. OPEC's announcement that they may not be able to maintain their share of oil supply is the equivalent of saying that the 20th century, the oil century, is over.

2 comments:

Joel said...

If you do decide to sell the Raleigh drop me a note. I have a mid 70s Super Course that I love as well as a Schwinn 3 speed from '74. This new Raleigh looks beautiful to me!

geoffrey said...

Nice. A garage queen that looks to have the factory drivetrain intact. Three leg chainrings were a trademark of Raleigh in that vintage. If the chain is less than 1/16" over on a 10" run you are really in luck. Keep fresh chains on it and you may be able to keep it factory for a long time.
Sheldonbrown.com should have a link to vintage raleigh that will help you date it exactly. The graphics suggest late 1970s.
The third digit of the serial number (either on the bottom bracket or on the seat tube - most likely the latter) will give the last digit of the year of manufacture. The first will tell the plant, ie R=Canada, W=Worksop, N=Nottingham ..
C'mon $2/L! Gasoline is too cheap.
I still have a fork that should fit your silver bike. If you've mailed me I've not got your response. Please send from your gmail as that one I've whitelisted.