Alan Oakley, designer of the Raleigh Chopper bicycle, has died from cancer aged 85.
Initially inspired to replicate the design of Peter Fonda’s motorbike in the classic movie Easy Rider, Mr Oakley came up with his drawing as he flew home from the trip, set up for him to “get-to-grips” with youth culture.
Alan drew the design on the back of an Air Mail envelope on his way back from America in 1967.
“Alan had been over to America looking to pick up a design for a bike,” said Mrs Oakley. “While he was flying back, he had an airmail envelope and just drew this bike on the back of it and that was that, the creation of the Chopper.”
“As a friend and former colleague of Alan’s said, ‘Raleigh was Alan and Alan was Raleigh’, “said Mrs Oakley.
“He was there for 40 years and loved every minute of it. He made people very happy and I am very proud of him.”
Oh, and this is how the gutter-press in the UK (ie: The Sun) chose to remember the Chopper: