Re: [CR]Reg actually wanted to race on a Flying Scot!


Example: Events:Cirque du Cyclisme:2007

From: "P.C. Kohler" <kohl57@starpower.net>
To: "brucerobbins" <brucerobbins@supanet.com>, <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
References: <CATFOODJagXTi8M19VM0000215b@catfood.nt.phred.org> <003801c3e91d$36d18510$f7b628d5@Robbocomp>
Subject: Re: [CR]Reg actually wanted to race on a Flying Scot!
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2004 19:14:27 -0500


Well I gave up believing in the tooth fairy and even Santa Claus (if only because the fat sod never gave me a new Raleigh... not once) but I will cling to the childish notion that Reg did really Ride a Raleigh.

Firstly, Reg was a pretty decent and honest bloke who apparently took his contract with Raleigh very seriously. If it was advertised that Reg used a Lenton Sports with a FM hub for his road training, I'll believe that as readily as any Coppi story. The only performance enhancing drugs Reg ever used was in his briar pipe. I can't see the man riding two principal machines, clearly marked with the Herons Crest with "RRA" in those familar letters on the seat tube if it was really some Flying Scot or Hetchens or, heaven help us, Masi in disguise.

Second, the Raleigh history states on p. 78 that Reg requested a Raleigh track bike in 1945, long before his official sponsorship by the firm. So he obviously didn't hold the marque in distain. Of course he never got the bike and on p. 79 it's mentioned he met Raleigh's Charlie Marshall in 1948... "he knew things had greatly changed at Nottingham in the previous three years and, as the Olympics were due to be held within a few weeks, he was sure Raleigh would come up with a bicycle and indeed they did." So Reg won his two silver medals that year riding... a Raleigh or....?? I mean the bloke WAITED three years to even get a Raleigh....!!

Fast forward to p. 123 and Reg's wonderful victory at the British Sprint Championship in July 1974. "Cycling" wrote: Carrying the unfamilar blue and orange colours of Draka Foam but still on the same Raleigh machine he has used to become of Britain's greatest ever sporting heroes....."

The Raleigh history, p. 123, mentions his old machine being taken out of stores at the Raleigh works and that the team mechanic worked through the night to get her ready... and that there were in fact two RRAs... "immaculate" for the race.

So that's the evidence I can come up with. Of course Reg's machines could have been custom made by Raleigh. I suspect they were stock RRA frames. Surely the largest cycle manufacturer on the planet could have cobbled together some machine, crappy lugs and sloppy brazing nothwithstanding, slap a coat of carmine on it and sent it out under the greatest sprinter of the age with some hope of... winning a race!!

Reg won the 1947 Amateur Championship in Paris riding a Claud Butler. I just have a hunch that was the last time he won riding anything but a Raleigh... a real Raleigh, Nottingham bred and built.

Next someone will tell me that Reg's real name was Reggio and he was really an Eye-Tie.

Peter Kohler, not quite ready to be entirely disillusioned.. Washington DC USA