MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

MY "TEN SPEEDS"  

GITANE GRAN TOUR - INTRO

FINDING THE GITANE GT

BUILDING THE GITANE GT

RIDING THE GITANE GT

 

BICYCLES OF FRANCE

CUSTOMIZED BICYCLES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINDING THE GITANE GRAN TOUR

There are many different ways to find old road bicycles and then many more when you combine search techniques.  It is rare that one technique standing alone will produce a vintage lightweight bike.  In the case of the Gitane, two bike finding techniques combined to produce the bicycle.

I love to bike hunt at the local landfill site, better known as The "Dump".  I also talk to just about every person I meet, finding a comfortable way to mention that I am looking for an old "Ten Speed".  Most of the attendants at the local landfill site are aware of my bicycle collecting interests and they have taken me into their care, often times setting bicycles aside for me.  I should qualify this a bit.

The manager of the landfill site has seen fit to encourage his employees to help me with my bicycle salvage efforts.  The employees will often times salvage a bicycle and set it aside in a protected area.  With each visit to the landfill site, I check this area to see if anything worth while has been added.  And on a beautiful Spring morning, something had...

I always look to my right as I pass beside the entrance to The Dump.  The guys and gals always put bicycles where I can easily spot them and that day was no different, or so I thought.  As I entered the site, my glance to the right allowed a glimpse of about four bikes waiting for me and all looked to be entry lever, department store issued mountain bicycles.  Nothing to capture my imagination and with that in mind, I proceeded on to the scrap metal pile.

As a collector of bicycles for Bicycles for Humanity (B4H) I am not all that choosey about what bikes I take and what I leave.  Generally, the bicycle will have to be in reasonably good condition and of appropriate design for the intended third world destination and the riding conditions that would prevail there.  And finding appropriate bicycles is absolutely no problem.  Even in the dead of winter, and that is saying something in Thunder Bay, the bicycles continue to flow to the landfill site.  Three feet of snow, high winds and freezing temperatures slow the flow of bikes somewhat but the flow continues.  Day in and day out, all year long.

Well, the scrap metal pile produced a couple bikes that would serve the B4H purpose really well and they were quickly snapped up and loaded into the Ranger.  With that done, I headed for the "put away for Randy" bike salvage area.  As I approached, I noticed a dark gray something or other laying on its side, sans wheels.  As I got closer, I realized that the day was going to be a bit special, after all.

Along with four mountain bicycles, the Gitane had been set aside for me.  The fellow who put the bicycle there was a summer student who would prove to be a great help for the balance of the summer, setting aside perhaps thirty or forth good bikes that would prove perfect for sending across the pond to the Dark Continent.  The Gitane, needless to say, is not a third world conditions kind of bicycle.  Since it is rare that a Gitane surfaces I was planning to get at the bicycle as soon as I had a chance to do so.  However, since the bicycle was not even close to an acceptable fit for me, it would likely  be some time before it found its way into the work stand.  As luck would have it, providence intervened and I had the bicycle in the stand a couple of days later.

NEXT - BUILDING THE GITANE GRAN TOUR

 

 

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

 

mail@mytenspeeds.com

COPYRIGHT(2008): mytenspeeds.com