I’ve been feeling nostalgic for my first true love.

But Rachel doesn’t have to be worried as it was a Raleigh Grifter that first stole my heart one Christmas many, many years ago – closely followed by WonderWoman, but that’s another blog post for another time.

My cycle down memory lane was stirred by a short item on The Guardian’s Bike Blog, asking readers to reveal their first true bike love.

I did genuinely love that bike.

It was a bike for all moods and seasons, all terrain (within reason, obviously) and all time…until I upgraded to my first road bike. I certainly went farther afield on the road bike that replaced my Grifter.

Yet it was undoubtedly the Grifter that sparked the love of two wheels that still endures today.

My Grifter was sleek and black, a bit like my bike today. But, more importantly, the Grifter was the bike that took me out of the safe confines of the back garden for the first time and into the big wide world outside.

It was my licence to roam, the wheels that would propel me towards all manner of adventures and amazing new places.

I explored every inch of the large park opposite my childhood home in Newport and went careering around the fields at the back of the house with a broad grin on my face.

It was a secret agent’s bike, a daredevil’s bike, a racer’s bike and above all it was my bike.

You couldn’t help but look super cool on Grifter.

I’m not sure you could say the same about the Raleigh Commando, the bike I properly learned to ride on.

It was good, but I came of age as a serious biker when I got my Grifter a couple of years later.


Astride the Commando in my parent's living room - not as good as the Grifter



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