I have a few keywords that my Craigslist app pulls up for me (Trek, Reynolds, Raleigh, etc) and I am usually pretty good at checking them. Paid off this time! I found a Raleigh Alyeska frame being sold in Crystal Lake. It was set up as a single speed with mysterious no name Deep Vs and what I think are formula hubs.

I met up with the seller who was trying to liquidate some of his possessions before a move to California. I was really glad I got the frame, even though I knew it was too tall for me.

I loved having the opportunity to rebuild the bike as a touring specific bike, the reason it was manufactured in the firs place. Even though the brands of the componentry used isnt original to the Alyeska, I still tried my best to appropriately rebuild the bike.

I have such an affinity for Raleigh touring frames, especially from the 80’s. I am still searching for one my size but it seems like the world is against me. I did manage to find a Raleigh Olympian but the frame is bent.

Anyway, I did splurge on the build and went out and bought Brooks B17 Saddle from Smart Bike Parts in Logan Square for a great price. I did buy some silver Velo fenders as well but the screws included didnt fit the frame so I just decided to return it all together. I would have had to ask for much more money for the bike had I kept the fenders so I went without them.

The background graffiti moral is on the south wall of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Club on Washington & Sacremento. Ive passed it a couple times and always thought it would make a nice background for bike photographs. This year Id like to be more creative on where I take some of these photos but I need a fancier camera, I suppose.



This was quite the find. I was at a Goodwill in Carpentersville killing time before dinner plans and saw this bike out of the corner of my eye.

There was a man on the phone standing next to it and had his hand on the handlebars. When I approached the bike the man actually walked away and I noticed the price tag hanging from the top tube. $30. What a deal! I snapped a quick picture and emailed it to my dad. I rolled the bike over to clerk and promptly paid for it but asked if they could hold it because I didnt have a bike rack or any room in the car I was in.

My father drove to the Goodwill and picked the bike up for me later that evening. He had recently bought a Wright saddle and it looked perfect on the bike. I really should have kept this bike for myself but I sold it the next day for $375 and was told by a couple people that I under priced it.

I sold it to a young lady who met up with me with her boyfriend who was riding a very nice Surly Longhaul. They mentioned that they were looking to bike from Chicago to some where northern Michigan. She loved so I was glad but since then I have had an itch to find a really nice touring specific bike.