In 1959, when I was a sophomore in high school I got my first "serious" bike, an Elswick "Tour Anglais", with 630 mm (27 inch) wheels, drop handlebars and a 4 speed Sturmey-Archer gear hub-very hot stuff for the place and time!
I also have written extensively on (primarily technical) bicycle matters, first for Bike World, then for several years with Bicycling, and most recently American Bicyclist, a trade magazine that goes to every bike shop in the country.
I wrote for them both under my own name and the nom-de-plume "Christopher Joyce." American Bicyclist was recently sold, and the new owners canned everybody, so I am between magazines. Originally came with a Rosa 48/30 crankset and a 14/16/19/26 freewheel, with Fiamme 622 mm (700c) rims. I built this in the late '60's from two Raleigh Sports frames brazed together.
I later learned a pretty good trick for improving this..a worm-gear hose clamp around the ball, this provides an adjustment for the suspension.
This was the first brand new bike I ever owned, but I didn't keep it stock very long.
It has 559 mm (26" mtb) wheels, Shimano 105 cranks, straight bars w/Haro add-on unit, Tommaselli motorcycle brake levers, walnut-grain contact paper finish, very strange indeed! S-A 5-speed hotrod, aluminum rims and crankset, wild-looking Uni-disc wheel covers, front and rear, Mitsuboshi Comp Pool tires. It was originally built to be used with a kidback, as in the photo, but my kids have outgrown this, so it now has a semi-conventional front crossover drive.