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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.