Chopper

bike

As I cycled through the park yesterday, I saw a young lad on a bike which had the unmistakable outline of a Raleigh Chopper. He was sitting back on the banana seat, hands loosely on the ape-hanger bars, sweeping graceful, joyful curves across the path in the late evening sun. He had a huge grin on his face, and it made me smile just to see how much he was enjoying his ride. I always wanted a Chopper when I was a kid, but my parents said it was an impractical bike1 so I got a more sensible ride. This chap's Chopper was the 'revival' model, of course -- they stopped making the original models, with their potentially castrating top-tube mounted gear lever, long before he was born.

When he saw me riding towards him with a smile on my face, he honked his horn -- a lovely, rubber bulb horn with a clownish "honk honk" sound, which made my day.

1 Of course it was impractical and not particularly well-made, but that was half the fun of it. And it was cool.

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