[CR] RE Osborn visit (and now more Raleigh Pro weirdness)

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Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 16:18:00 -0500
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
From: Larry Osborn <losborn2@wvu.edu>
Subject: [CR] RE Osborn visit (and now more Raleigh Pro weirdness)

\ Mike Self wrote

>Larry Osborn was out Monday & rooted around in my mountain of misfit
>(& some not so misfit) bikes. He was in & out quickly or we would
>have called in the vintage bike folks. Hardest thing for him was to
>stop looking in bike boxes where the shipped in bikes are still in
>the carton-maybe 30 unpacked boxes. He kept saying "you're
>sick". Found a Raleigh Pro (not in box) a lug (72ish) & decal
>(73ish) combo he had never seen. He picked up several things he
>almost could not live without but thought again & put them
>down-don't think they went in his pocket. As far as I know he went
>home empty handed, but not without being tempted.

Tempted, but didn't bring pockets big enough. MC Hammer parachute pants would have come in handy. Mae West would have asked "Is that a Bayliss in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?" Perhaps we can work out a joint custody arrangement, or visitation rights, a rental plan. Deterred also by the reminder of just how easily my world could look like Mike-World (minus the kilts and tubas). Could happen someday, when I'm blissfully free of the curse of self awareness.....or grow weary of "just saying no". The moment I need a storage facility (see "4 airplane hangars and barn full of airplane parts" mentioned in post Cirque rant), or contemplate a bar-coded inventory system, or just can't remember what's squirrelled away in any particular bike-sized box, I'll know I've lost that battle with myself. Just a little rule in Larry-World, if a bike is doomed to just live in a box, I shouldn't have bought it. Lessons learned the hard way.

Was saving the Raleigh Pro details for the next annual rant on that topic, but since it's out in the open now,...... Interesting mutant. A weird combination of elements that would certainly feel at home in my personal two wheeled freak show. (Perhaps I've finally discovered the subconscious "theme" behind my acquisition habits.). Early 72-ish fancy lugs, 72 NR rear der, (couldn't get to hubs and crankarms easily, but we will someday) but 73-ish block letter RALEIGH on downtubes, and 73-ish "A" serial number (A235), long after they had gone back to the plain lugs. I like it a lot. And my size. Just one of those little reality grenades I like to toss into the crowd when the discussions of "precisely" what/when/why Raleigh did or did not do something get a bit entrenched and shrill. Statistical outliers are always interesting data points.

>Anyway, it was fun to help Larry O. know he is not insane or, if he
>is, there are others like him or even maybe worse. Tried to get him
>to take home a tuba or kilt or even a '34 Chrysler Airflow since he
>was holding off on bike stuff, but he prevailed & held on to his
>money for another day. Larry, you'd look great in that kilt &
>driving the Chrysler in the hills of WV!!!

The scary part is that despite the flashbacks when Mike picked me up at the hotel in an early 70s VW beetle (the world's soundtrack is slightly emptier without the sound of chirping WV engine valves), and despite the occasional reflexive duck for cover whenever I heard boxes shift somewhere deep in the storage facility (anticipating the avalanche that will certainly happen someday, and me without a skier's emergency locator transmitter) I soon stopped asking myself if Mike was in my nightmare of if he was in mine. It all became very comfortable and enjoyable. And as long as I woke up in time to get to work the next morning, everything would be just fine. OOOoooooh, what's in THIS box?! Whaddaya mean you haven't ridden this yet?! Gimme some tools. Some tempting toys in there. Found some laughers too. (Tandem racing trike?!). Also learned that attic space crib walls make excellent bike racks, for many bikes. Now wishing I had an attic in the shack in the woods. A fun-filled treasure hunt. A shame I was actually in the neighborhood to work the next day. Had to save Storage Facility #2 for the next trip. Geat fun finally observing the behavior patterns of a friend and swap bud in his natural habitat. Yeah, I know, not how a "normal" person spends a free evening on an out of town business trip, but nothing I might have to apologize for. And nobody has to make up some lame cover story about "hiking the Appalachian Trail" if the press starts asking where I disappeared to.

The (horrible) image that comes to mind is of a group of middle-aged kilt-wearing tuba players on vintage bikes. Tandem racing trikes perhaps. CR kilts of course. And silly hats. Sounds like a parade band waiting to happen. I'll be somewhere else.

Still kilt-free in WV Larry Osborn back in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia USA