Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The 1970's Raleigh Chopper

I Blame the Raleigh Chopper (above).  In the day the Chopper was the Bike to have.  It's hard to overstate the effects of the introduction of the Chopper on Pre-BMX kids bikes.  Soon every bike had chopper motorcycle  like styling, with banana seats, sissy bars, gearshifts, high rise handlebars and all manner of gewgahs.  Thus the Chopper led to my bike at the time, the Schwinn Stingray.  Not a bad bike at all, but nothing that couldn't be improved with a bit more chopper motorcycle like features, like, say fork extensions.  At the time there was the "right" (read safe) way to do this, and then there was the twelve year old kid way.  This basically consisted of  removing the front forks via hacksaw from a donor bicycle, removing the front wheel lugs from your bike and then jamming the donor forks onto the now denuded ends of your bikes forks, re-attaching the wheel, and Voila ! you have just added another foot to your forks !  The sensible thing would be to permanently attach the new forks by welding, but who has time for that?  You have an uber chopper to ride !  Preferably down a steep, sandy hill.  Thus Raleigh's Chopper led to me experiencing the epic fail of my new forks and subsequent wreck which permanently embedded a small stone in my elbow.  


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