35mm · Film photography · Photography

Remembering the bikes I once owned

I was quite pleased when I came across this set of Raleigh pedal-bikes recently. I was the owner of two of the models seen in the picture – the Budgie (at the front), and the Chopper (third one along). Despite having the Budgie first, I never progressed beyond the use of stabilisers with it, and it was on the much larger Chopper that I actually learnt to ride a bike. I think at the time the Chopper was still a bit too big for me, but I had one anyway (2nd hand initially, and later a brand new one for Christmas one year).

I learnt to ride it when one of the bigger kids on the street took me out with it. Promising to hold the back so it wouldn’t tip over while I got my balance he proceded to let go as I rolled down a hill on it. It was a ride-or-die type situation, and I rode.

I never had a Tomahawk, which can be seen nestled between the other two bikes in the photo – although one of my friends did, if I remember correctly. It was like the kid brother to the chopper, sharing the same large rear wheel / smaller front wheel design, but on a smaller scale and lacking the three gears of its sibling.

Carefree times gone by
We would ride our bikes all day
Then back home for tea


Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°

Taken on 4 September 2021

2 thoughts on “Remembering the bikes I once owned

  1. By coincidence I recently stumbled across a slightly smaller version of the Raleigh Chopper MK1 on the link below. Whoever created the models paid keen attention to detail. The correct tyre treads and red line detail on the walls of the tyres and the wide handle bars which were made narrower on the MK2, when they also introduced the T shaped gear change. I’d often wondered why no one had created a model of such a classic and now they have! 👍😀 Even the colours of the yellow and orange models look authentic to the original Choppers…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember that the red line would sometimes peel from the tyres in a thin strand of rubber.

      I’m not sure if my original Chopper was a mk 1 or 2 – the one I had from new was definitely the mk 2 though.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s