Chopper inventor dies

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The Independent Online

The man who designed Raleigh's iconic Chopper bicycle has died of cancer. Alan Oakley, 85, from Nottingham, passed away on Friday. His wife, Karen, told the BBC he drew the design for the Chopper on an envelope in 1967. Initially inspired to replicate the design of Peter Fonda's motorbike in the film Easy Rider, Mr Oakley, left, came up with his drawing as he flew home the US, where he was sent to "get to grips" with youth culture. Raleigh sold 1.5 million Choppers in the UK and it saved the firm from bankruptcy. A limited edition Mk3, above, was released in 2004. PA