Whilst you would be hard pushed to find a Raleigh bike in your local bike shop these days, it wasn’t that long ago that they were a very big deal.
The story of Raleigh and it’s rise and fall is an interesting one. It’s a story this BBC documentary aims to tell.
Back in 1887 after being given 6 months to live, Frank Bowden was advised by his doctor to take up cycling, so he bought a bicycle from a small shop on Raleigh Street in Nottingham. His health quickly improved and by that time he was hooked. Bowden would go on to buy the small business on Raleigh Street, which would grow to become the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world by 1896.
It’s interesting, perhaps a little frustrating that even back in 1887 the health benefits of cycling were well-known and doctors were recommending it to people. It’s 2017 and we’re now coming around to the idea that cycling is good for us and that people should do it for the benefit of their health.
For a culture that claims to be advanced, we humans have the capacity to be completely and utterly dense at times. However, the history of Raleigh was an interesting one and has been well told in Pedalling Dreams.
Raleigh is now owned by the Accell Group, along with Diamondback and Koga, but how it got to that point is worth a watch.
You can find it on iPlayer for another 12 days. After that you’ll find it on the BBC Store.
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