I love surprises.
I got a great surprise yesterday.
The surprise had to do with a product made by members of our extended American family.
Which if you have been reading my blog for any period of time is probably not that surprising to you.
But what was surprising to me was that I had been using an American product for ages, but I didn’t even know it!
For most people in the country, last month was a scorcher. Lots of fires and lots of sweating. Not so in my hometown of Seattle. Almost three inches of rain and an average temperature of 58. A real nice start to summer. But sadly fairly typical for Seattle. But summer finally arrived on July 4th in time for the Lake Union Fireworks. After the fireworks, my wife asked me to clean up and tune up our bicycles so our family could do some bike trips later in the summer.
I have an old Raleigh mountain bike that I think I got in the early 1990s. At the time it was sort of cutting edge because the frame was made out of aluminum. As I cleaned the crusted crud off the right chainstay, the words “Made in the USA” emerged. I don’t remember trying to select a bike manufactured by members of our extended American family back in the 1990s, but maybe I did. But I am pleased as punch that my old school Raleigh mountain bike was made on these shores.
Raleigh was founded in 1890 in England and once made nearly one million bicycles a year at its factories in Nottingham. Raleigh made its last bike in England in 2002; all Raleigh bikes are now made in Vietnam, Korea or Bangladesh. I am not sure how many bikes Raleigh made in the U.S., but there are very few firms making bikes here in the States these days. But I am going to introduce you one firm making cutting edge custom bikes in Seattle within the next few weeks. The firm is R&E Cycles and they have a wonderful story; I look forward to sharing it with you soon.