Sometimes you reclaim the past, sometimes you improve upon it.
Dave Atkinson did both with this early 1970s British-built Royal Scot bicycle.
He found it on its side, rusted, stepped on and pretty much dead.
But it reminded him of the Raleigh his dad used to cart him around when he was small. So he worked to return the bike to the road three years ago.
Dave is a collision repair technician for CityLink, formerly known as the Greater Peoria Mass Transit District. He repairs windshields, body panels, roofs, seats, paint and glass. He also assembles bicycles for Bushwhacker, Peoria’s local outdoor store.
Liam Neeson might say Dave has a particular set of skills; skills acquired over a very long career. But Neeson himself could not have reclaimed the Royal Scot. Even Dave didn’t save much of the original beyond the frame and head badge.
“It was a complete bike when I picked it up, but the fenders, wheels and brakes were smashed and rusted,” he says.
Royal Scot, perhaps the Rodney Dangerfield of three speeds, was a second-line Raleigh brand with the same frame, but differences in the parts and marketing.
“The original fenders had wire stays; these fenders [with solid, D-shaped stays] came from a Raleigh Sports Ltd. The fork came from eBay. The chainguard, fenders, bars, stem, seat post and cranks all came from different Raleighs.”
Dave saved the Scot from the trash. Repainted it. Topped it with a luxurious Brooks B66 saddle. He inserted it back into the flow of history, creating something sure to confuse anyone trying to identify this particular model. So now he’s going to do what any dedicated bike resto-modder would do.
He’s going to sell it.
“Too many bikes. I enjoyed building it, but I don’t ride it enough to justify being an owner who doesn’t have it on display.”
Well, Dave, here’s to display.