20 May 2009

The Heron and The Heron

The Heron and The Heron....

(My DL-1 Raleigh vintage bicycle)

Until I can purchase a proper upright commuter bike like the very popular Batavus... (You know THE ‘must have’ bicycle as ridden by several of the cycle chic cognoscenti), well until then I ride my beloved 'PrettyBritty'. I've never seen another ladies 1960's Raleigh step through like mine around town. And by around town I mean Berkeley, San Francisco and now Santa Cruz my latest hometown. My bicycle is unique and a head turner, and so very recognizable. The artisanal helmet cover prototypes which I am always testing out always get heads turning as well!

I am a lollygag rider. I have no bike to work commute to speak of. I mainly work out of my home studio. Occasionally I work with a hi-tech start-up. Either way I have an indecently short bike to work commute.

So where do I go when I do ride my bike? I go for leisure rides to enjoy the beauty of the place I live in. I go downtown to partake in my favorite activity which is to frequent the excellent thrift stores in pursuit of recyclables for use in the making of my helmet covers. I also primarily dress from vintage and thrift store finds so I’m always on the hunt for a new vintage frock to wear! I go downtown to shop the art stores for supplies, downtown for cafĂ© outings, downtown for Farmer’s Market, and so forth.

I am still in recovery from the ‘nervous nellies’ after several close encounters with near death while city bicycle riding some years back, PLUS caring for a friend after a head injury sustained from a bike accident with a car. So to cope, I began to seek out walk-able and bike friendly communities as a priority as to where I would be living ultimately. Now when planning all of my bicycle routes, what I do is to take the LONG way. I chose the quiet back roads. Here in Santa Cruz there are beautiful dedicated bicycle path ways. That’s what I am sharing with you in the pictures you’re seeing today. The bicycle path you see in the photo goes along the San Lorenzo River. It takes you downtown, though from the photo you'd never guess you were a just few short blocks away from the heart of downtown!

Update: An anon reader over at Thom's Old Bike Blog suspected my bicycle was circa 1970's.

Anon...I bumbled back here and found your comment last night. Becoming OCD driven I researched and researched. Oh my gosh, you're right!

I purchased this bike off SFCraigslist. In the ad it was advertised & listed as circa 1968. I totally trusted the previous owner's word...he worked his entire life in bike shops and had a major collection of various bikes going back 30 plus years. He himself bought the bike from American Cyclery in SF in the early 90's, at least that's what he said anyway.

So What is the telltale identifier? It's the Raleigh lettering. Slanted (like what's on my bicycle) means it's from the 1970's and later and upright lettering means it's from the 1960's or earlier. So there you have it.

For about 2 hours I was really upset and thought about recontacting the person I bought it from. I decided against it. I like my bicycle, so that's that.

Thom... I guess if you want you can change the title of this post to reflect the correct age of this bicycle.