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This is the article from the SUN newspaper, of ONE of our famous club members, "Ed".  In the last week or so, he has been in the national press, and on TV, with his Dad Richard. Where will he be next? Keep up the good work Ed, and I will see you and your Dad at Billing. 2003

 19/04/2003


Chopper holic

Potty Ed loves 70s

 cult bikes so much

 he's got 35 of them 

Seats for sore thighs ... Edward shows off his classic bikes

By JAMIE PYATT

WACKY Edward Pratt loves to show off his massive Chopper collection — he’s got 35 of the classic Raleigh bikes! The 16-year-old travels across Britain to pick up the chunky bikes which were every kid’s must-have set of wheels in the 1970s. Their trademark U-shaped handlebars and leather seats earned them cult status. Edward has a Ł10,000 Chopper collection and scours tips and places ads for spares or whole bikes which he restores with his dad. Edward said: “There’ll never be another bike like them. The handlebars, saddle and gear shifter on the crossbar are the best bits. We don’t pay much for them because of the state they are in. “But they are quite valuable when we’ve finished with them and look fantastic. We respray them and put on Chopper stickers — then I take them for a test ride.” Dad Richard, 44, bought his son his first second-hand Chopper when he was five — then got hooked himself. He now drives from their home in Didcot, Oxon, as far as Cornwall and Scotland to pick up old Choppers.

Ride up his street ... Edward's collection is growing, three years after getting his first bike He even flew 3,000 miles to Washington DC for a rare Silver Jubilee edition with a silver frame, worth Ł1,500. Richard said: “I encouraged him to restore bikes as a constructive hobby but it’s becoming an addiction for me. “We went on holiday to Cornwall last year and as soon as we got there I placed an ad in a newsagents to see what I could find. Five days later we took a Chopper home with us.” Edward’s sister Selina, 18, brought one back from a holiday in Florida — after he spotted it on the internet. But mum Caroline thinks the obsession is going too far. The 41-year-old nurse said: “It was bad enough when it was one of them but now Edward’s got the whole family involved. “We can’t go out without their eyes wandering to some rusty old bike. 
“I can’t get near my shed and as for cleaning Edward’s room, there’s no chance. I wish he could just be interested in girls and football.” Raleigh made 1.5 million Choppers from 1969-79. There were two versions and limited editions to mark special occasions. Edward’s five-gear Three Plus Two is one of only eight left.

 

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