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The biggest mistake of my life...(5 posts)

The biggest mistake of my life...Continental
Dec 12, 2002 8:07 AM
The biggest mistake of my life was selling my 1981 Raleigh Superbe. (Many other mistakes could have killed me, or worse, but I've been absurdly lucky.) My Superbe was the first thing I bought after graduating from Ohio State. I didn't have a car or furniture, but I had a nice bike. It had a beautiful lugged frame with a golden electroplated finish. It had a brown suede seat. It had the Suntour Superbe Groupo with those cool oil caps on the hubs. It had tubular tires. And it was charmed. I rode that bike for 12 years and I don't remember a single time when anybody ever cussed my out for being on the road. Several times I had people roll down their windows and tell me what a beautiful bike I had.

I remember some great rides on that bike, like my first group ride with the Columbus AYH. I went out with about 15 "A" riders. They started dropping riders all over the countryside. I reached the highest level of self-induced pain that I have ever achieved, but I hung on and finished with the top 5 breakaway group. 3 weeks later, I was mostly recovered. I remember commuting during the bus strike, sprinting like hell to keep up with traffic and coming down North 4th street and smelling the WonderBread Bakery. I remember some embarrassing moments, like when I was track standing at a stoplight and I fell over. And I'll never forget the time I didn't glue my rear tire on well enough. New rim, new spokes, new skin.

I got married, had kids, didn't ride much. One day I went out and couldn't get up a hill in first gear. I felt unworthy to own my bike. I think I got $75 for it. I bought a Trek Hybrid and could get up the hills again. Now I've lost 25 pounds and am back into decent riding shape. I have a nice Fuji Finest, but no charm. I've been cussed out by the driver of the only car on a four-lane road at 6:30 Sunday morning. Nobody has every rolled down their window and said "that's a beautiful bike."

I don't even have a picture, so, if anyone out there has a picture of a 1981 Raleigh Superbe, please post it.
A great tale of first loveAlpedhuez55
Dec 12, 2002 9:46 AM
Thanks for a great story. I think we all feel that way about the first real bike we owned. Mine was a Lotus. The frame survived two incidents with a cars and road well. I stripped the parts off it when I bought my next bike, a Gitane. The Gitane was a piece of Crap that too flexy fell apart after a couple of months. I regretted throwing that nice lugged lotus frame into the trash.

Mike Y.
The Raleigh won't help you anymoreLC
Dec 12, 2002 10:00 AM
I used to have a Raleigh like that but I am not sure if i have a picture of it? But it would'nt help anyway as times have changed, everyone is in a hurry and your in their way. Drivers are angry and careless. It's hard to drive with a latte in one hand and a cell phone in the other. These last few weeks have been especially bad as I have seen emergancy vehicles gathered around a motionless body and a mangled bike way too often and seems like every time I turn on the news I hear about another cyclist getting killed. It's the middle of winter and there are not that many bikes on the road like in summer, but there are more accidents than ever! Last time I remember riding through the city without someone yelling, cutting me off or giving me the finger was about a year ago around Sept 11.
hey .... we all make mistakesSpirito
Dec 12, 2002 10:27 AM
couldnt find an '81 catalogue but there are a few others around those years. look under Raliegh (jpg) and Retro Raleigh (PDF). these scans are huge so forget it you have a phone line modem.

didn't see any superbe equipped bikes - perhaps yours was built up from the frameset.

you can always dress preiod correct ....

is that you in the photo, spirito?tarwheel
Dec 13, 2002 12:20 PM
Taken during the days when you still had a full head of hair?