I'm getting a "new" bike and, in part, it's due to a new blog I discovered called, "2whls3spds." The author, Aaron, wrote about getting his dream bike, a Raleigh Superbe. I thought that was so uncanny because one of my dream bikes is a Raleigh Superbe in chocolate brown. According to Aaron, some nice member of Bike Forums connected him with his bike. I don't know this website really well, although I've visited before, so I clicked on its link in his sidebar. I investigated the link about classic and vintage bikes and clicked on the thread about Ebay and/or Craigslist finds with the idea of contributing the story of how I found Praline. However, the thread appeared to be more about sharing good finds for those looking to buy as opposed to sharing the story of a bike one had purchased. I wanted to participate so I went to Craigslist and that's when I saw it-- a chocolate brown 1972 Raleigh Sprite. I know the Sprite wasn't the top-of-the-line like the Superbe, it lacked the Surperbe's slick accessories like the fork lock and the generator lights, but it is the right color and it has the ergonomic riding position of a European utility bike. I told myself that I could get it if I could get the seller to lower her price; she lives very, very far away from me so I needed the extra incentive.
There was just one problem. The listing for the Sprite had been on Craigslist for a week. I thought that there was little chance of the bike still being available. I was excited to get up today and call the seller to find out if I was in luck-- that would be serious luck because I also planned to bargain with her. Well, today I was extremely lucky because she still had the bike and agreed to sell it to me for $50! I'll be picking it up on Friday! It's not in pristine condition, more like rideable, but rusty. From my discussion with the seller and the pictures it appears that the rust is merely a cosmetic issue on the handlebars. I also need some handlebar grips, but these sound like a worthwhile investment of energy and money on a $50 Raleigh Sprite.