Episode 32. Raleigh Mustang 13" (Part 1).

My littlest monster has had a bit of a growth spurt, as eight year olds tend to do, and I noticed a little while ago that she looked a little hunched up on her Puky bike. So that was put up for sale, and before long it was re-homed with someone else. It was a shame really, as she's only had it for just over a year, and really loves the thing. So I said to her that we would go to the tip, and buy her another bike. But she was adamant that she wanted to stay with the Puky, I must admit, it's a unique looking bike, and I quite like it myself, but it's no good if she's too big for it. Down at the tip I thought that pickins were slim, and there was nothing that caught my eye for her (Plenty for me, but realistically I've got enough!) I wanted to get her something beach cruisery, or choppery like her elder sisters bike, or something similar to the Puky, but just a bit bigger, but there was nothing like that there, pleanty of BMXs, a couple of small full suspension mountain bikes  that looked like brand new (but weighed more than my car!) But nothing unique, or special! Anyhoo, I was all for leaving empty handed but then she said she could see something behind the other bikes, and could I dig it out! She pointed it out, and I started to remove the bikes that were stacked on top of it to reveal...


An old, and very well used 13" framed mountain bike with 20" wheels from the early nineties!! But not just any old mountain bike...


Cool, she exclaimed upon seeing it, a Raleigh Mustang, like yours Dad!! Now you and I can go out riding on our Mustangs, it'll be awesome!! Well I don't know if it will be awesome if the truth be known, but I do think it is kinda cool that we've both got Mustangs. Apparently she's going to do it up in a similar manner to mine, kind of just a good cleaning, with new wheels and tyres etc! I'm interested to see where she takes this, but I do know that she's very keen to get out there on it! Back at BelongaClint there was some bike building fun to be had, but this time I was just in a supervisory role, as my littlest monster, was chomping at the bit, and ready to start working on her Mustang! However, I had also commandeered from the tip a far newer, and better Dawes aluminium framed, 20" wheel mountain bike in metallic red no less! I showed it to my littlest monster who simply said, NO! She then said, but we'll have the good bits of it for my Mustang! Fair enough I thought, I'd have done the same thing! So I lugged the pair of bikes into BelongaClint, she got out her tools, and we set to work!


Incidentally, this isn't the full extent of her tool kit, both of my little girls have little 'barn door' type tool boxes stuffed with fairly good quality, if a little old and well used tools, that I have picked up for them as and when I've seen them! I think it's important to have tools, and to know how to use them, I have friends who are my age (late 40's) Who don't own any tools, one of them doesn't even own a ruler!! Frankly I despair at this, anyhoo, I'm getting away from the point.... So, the Mustang felt very heavy as I carried it in, far heavier than the Dawes, and to be fair, far heavier than my sadly long gone now Mangna Fugitive!! Infact it felt so heavy that I decided to weigh the thing! The Mustang weighed in at 28.4 pounds!! Or if you are newer than me, 12.9 kilograms! For the sake of comparison I figured that I might as well weigh the Dawes too, which felt much lighter as I was carrying it, that weighed in at 22.7 pounds, or if you must, 10.3 kilograms! After asking Mrs Clint if she would like me to weigh her, a request that I might add that was firmly declined by the use of just two words, the second one being 'OFF' work started to commence on the Mustang, and the Dawes! Pretty soon it became apparent to me that we weren't just swapping the rusty steel wheels on the Mustang for the bright aluminium wheels of the Dawes, off came everything, wheels, seat, handlebars, the lot until we had two frames, and lots of bits! Then came the re-build, being a mean old Daddy I made her put together the Dawes with all the cast off Mustang parts first, she asked why, as it was the Mustang she wanted. I told her that a complete bike is easier to sell, plus, practice! She wanted to get stuck into her Mustang, but reluctantly built the Dawes up! Before bed time the Mustang had gone from this...


Which I didn't think was too bad in the first place, to this...


Which I'm sure that you can see is far better! Actually, although it looks pretty much the same in the photos, it is quite different when it's stood infront of you! I'm guessing that some of you now may be wondering what the Mustang weighs now, right? Well, it now weighs in at a far more svelte 19.8 pounds, or again for you metric types, 9.3 kilograms! Thats a weight saving of 8.6 pounds (3.9 kgs) That's massive on such a small machine! This also means that as we pretty much swapped everything from the Dawes onto the Mustang and vice versa, that the steel frame of the Mustang must be lighter than the Aluminium frame of the Dawes! There are of course still jobs left to do on it, she's decided to upgrade to Vee brakes as I have some in my stash, also new levers, and wires, and then some new grips, and then it will be ready to roll! She wanted to finish it off tonight, and go for a ride, but I said that I didn't have the parts, and even if we did finish it off, we couldn't go for a ride as it would be dark outside, besides, we needed to go shopping so she'd have to wait for the weekend! She wasn't happy about that, but accepted it as long as we buy her something while we're out! (also there was nothing she could do about it!) I agreed... To be fair this usually means a Hotwheels car, or hot chocolate sachets, or something else small. Wandering around home bargains she suddenly pipes up, can I borrow four pounds please? I said, sure, when will I get it back, and how much interest will I earn on my loan? She said that I would never get it back, and what is there to be interested in anyway? So I said, oh, so it's a gift? Yes she said, it's a gift, can I have four pounds please Daddy? I said, sure, but what for? Her reply was that she needed stuff, and off she went to get her stuff. She came back and put her stuff into my basket, and what was it you may ask?


Lights, apparently now we can go out after school in the dark! In the end it didn't cost me £4, it cost me £12 as I ended up buying us all a set, cant wait to get the flashing tyre valve lights on my bike... Very manly!!

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