The news that Dutch company Accell has bought Raleigh Cycle prompted a wave of nostalgia this week.
Many of us learned to cycle on a childhood Raleigh. My childhood coincided with the hugely popular Raleigh Chopper. I didn’t have one – I made do with the bizarre choice of a Raleigh Twenty. It was a classic example of the poor bikes produced in the 1970s, a car-dominated decade that marked the low point of the cycling industry before the mountain bike sparked a revival.
Far better was the Raleigh Randonneur, a superb touring bike that starred in my Land’s End to John O’Groats ride in 2002. I didn’t suffer a single puncture in the 1,060 miles odyssey. I now use the bike for rides with our three year old son Owen – there’s a child seat where I used to attach panniers.