First of all, let me say that this post is long overdue. The the most overdue part is a big thank you to Michael from andsoforth.com. For it was Michael's generousity that makes this post even possible.
Way back in May, Michael posted that he had an old Raleigh Robin Hood that he wanted to give to someone who would appreciate it. At the time, I felt I was that someone. Michael drove out to my place one morning and dropped of this beauty, my first foray into the world of English Three Speeds.
When I got it it had two brand new tires on it, but the front was flat. I didn't want to take pictures of the bike with a bum shoe so I waited. I finally got a couple of 26" tubes since the front was completely blown and went about replacing the tube. I pumped it up and all was well.
We went for a spin around the block and I noticed the seat was really loose. So I decided to tighten up the bolt that holds it together. Apparently I don't know my own strength, as I snapped the bolt in two. So the bike was hung in the garage again. And at some point while it was hanging, it blew the front tube again.
Fast forward to October. It's been a busy summer for me, and I'm behind on the scheduled maintenence on the bikes I ride regularly, let alone keeping up with the Hood. But after a cold snap that brought some light mid-October snow we had a gorgeous 60 degree Sunday afternoon. So I pulled the bike down again and replaced the front tube again. This time I sanded down a couple of burrs inside the front rim. I also found a bolt that fits the seat, pulled out the dremel and spent some time re-grooving the seat supports that were worn down and causing the seat to slip.
I took it out for a short ride yesterday, and I can see the allure of the bike and why people enjoy riding them. I think the seat needs a little more love, but I could possibly be ready for Lake Pepin next spring.