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