Episode 100. Raleigh Mustang 13" (Part 2).

Episode 100! I can't believe that I have managed to do 100 posts on my cycling blog. There has been more than one occasion when I've thought of giving the cycling blog up due to lack of interest, but then I've thought that even though there are very few people who read it, I do quite enjoy writing it, and so, for the foreseeable future atleast I shall probably keep going. I wondered what I was going to write about for my 100th post, and then, today while out riding the Land Rider with my littlest monster it hit me, it's time for a long overdue update on her bike, her 13" Raleigh Mustang. To date there has only been one entry about that bike, and that was way back in October 2017, when I wrote about my littlest monster, who was just seven years old at the time, building her first bike in Episode 32. The reason that she was building it in the first place was that she was getting a little too big for her little Puky bike that she loved, and so needed to get something bigger. Well, when we left off back in 2017 her little Mustang looked like this...

Which wasn't too bad for a first go! But it wasn't finished apparently, and after buying another bike from the tip for spares, the re-vamp gained a little more, well, stuff, and so this is how it looks in it's current configuration...

A cheap old Townsend bike donated the mudgaurds and handlebars, and the crash pads came from a childs BMX, and were liberated from the tip. In the last year and a half this thing has been ridden everywhere, and she loves to ride it. She is also quite proud of what she has created, and to be honest, so am I. It rides well, yes I've ridden it. This happened when she left it at her friends house, half a mile from BelongaClint, and when I collected it I decided that I'd just ride it home. It was dark, and so I doubt that too many people saw my riding home like a clown at the circus. It did however leave me with a trapped sciatic nerve for a really long time. A little advise, if you're a 5' 10" tall 18 stone man, don't think that you can ride half a mile on a 13" framed childrens bike. It's possible, but you like like an idiot doing in, and you look like an idiot for the next six weeks or so walking around looking like a Zombie at the outbreak of an apocalypse. Not to mention the discomfort of Sciatica!

Luckily for my littlest monster she is a fair bit shorter than me, and probably less than a third of my weight! So for her the Mustang is pretty good. However, today on our ride I noticed that she must've had another bit of a growth spurt, and although I can still raise the handlebars, and raise the saddle the problem before too long may well be that the frame is just too short for her in length. I mentioned this to her, and her response was much the same as when I mentioned that the Puky was getting too small for her. NO, she said, it's still fine! I guess that for the time being it is fine, but my feeling is that by the Summer holidays she may well be too big for it.

I think that this will be a shame, although I do like the fact that she is growing. But it will be a shame because I think that this bike has taught her alot. Firstly, although it wasn't the first bike she built, the first being a bike built from the cast offs of this and other bikes that she took parts off to build this one. But she never rode those, they just went straight up for sale on ebay as projects. This is however the first bike that she has built for herself that she has actually ridden. It's also the first bike that she's ever had with deraileur gears, and although she has only got the friction type levers, she has learned to use them quite well, and infact just today following here through the countryside I watched as she shifted effortlessly through the gears as she went both up hill, and down. Something that I was struggling with on the Venture Land Rider I might add!

But as we rode along this afternoon we did discuss the idea of getting her a bigger bike. Of course I have ideas of what that bike should be, and,  to be honest I already have it in the waiting. My eldest Monster you may remember bought herself an Apollo Retro Beach Cruiser, way back in September 2017, which I babbled on about in Episode 10. Well, by the following summer she was too big for it, and wasn't all that interested in riding anyway. So I took it off her, and let her use whatever mountain bike I had laying around that was the right sort of size for her. The thing is, she's never been that impressed with me taking away the Beach Cruiser, so I have been on the lookout for a Beach Cruiser project for her to get her teeth into. Hopefully I can get something for her before the Summer Holidays so that both of my Monsters can have something to keep them busy building during their six weeks off. But for now, I think my littlest Monster atleast will be savouring her little Mustang for a few months yet.


  1. Those mudguards look fantastic on that, credit to her she built a cracking looking bike :)


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