It’s a pretty safe bet that many of you would have got your first taste of the freedom that riding a bicycle brings on one made by Raleigh. To celebrate its 125th anniversary, the Nottingham-based brand is inviting Raleigh riders, past and present, to send in their own pictures showing them with their pride and joy to an online gallery that will help celebrate that landmark.
If you’re able to dig out a picture of yourself and upload it to the Me & My Raleigh microsite, you’ll be joining some famous names, ranging from four-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy to novelist Jackie Collins and singer Sir Cliff Richard, as well as a whole host of other people united by one thing – they all rode a Raleigh bike at some point.
There’s no reason to feel shy about it, either – if I’m brave enough to make public the picture above of mid-1970s me with long hair and flares (before I discovered punk, in short) striking a pose on a Raleigh Chopper, there’s no reason for anyone else to be embarrassed.
According to Raleigh’s Marketing Director Geoff Giddings, “Not a month goes by when we don’t hear about a shop or a private collector with a small horde of Raleigh bikes on display somewhere.
“We know there is a big demand to see our vintage bikes and our more recent ranges so, in our 125th year, we wanted to design a platform where people could share pictures of their Raleigh bikes.”
The image gallery is fully searchable, enabling you to quickly find pictures of iconic models down the years, and all entries during the year will be entered into draw for prizes including a limited edition 125th anniversary book signed by Raleigh-GAC riders.
While the company’s 1950s heyday is long behind it – mass manufacture of frames in the UK ended in 1999, with assembly moving abroad four years later – it remains a major force in the UK cycle market, owning and distributing brands including Diamondback.
Raleigh dealerships throughout Britain will also be participating in the Me & My Raleigh initiative, including taking pictures of customers who have bought current models with their bikes.
One, Les Hudson of Hudson Cycles, Rossington, South Yorkshire, commented: “This is a great celebration of Raleigh’s heritage and we’re proud to be taking part. We’ll be offering our customers the chance to get involved with this because it helps promote our store and offers customers the chance to get involved in 125 years of heritage – something most other bike brands can’t offer.”
Full details of other initiatives that celebrate Raleigh’s 125th anniversary can be found on the company’s website.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.