MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

GARDIN 400 - INTRO

FINDING THE GARDIN 400

BUILDING THE GARDIN 400

RIDNIG THE GARDIN 400

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

 

  

FINDING THE GARDIN 400

There was a time that it was easy to find vintage road bicycles, often times for minimal cash outlay.  Needless to say, with the fast growing interest the vintage road bicycle enjoys these days, finding one before the other guy does is becoming a bit of a trick.  And there are a few Tricks I use to help me find lots and lots of vintage road bicycles, and/or roadsters, and/or really unusual members of the Vintage Velo Community.

For a few years, immediately after the turn of the century, it was still a snap to find bikes - here there and everywhere - literally!  This particular Gardin was sitting, displayed for all to see under its thirty year old patina of dust, for sale at a Yard Sale.  Yard Sales used to produce lots of old bikes but this one would have never come my way had it not been for the powerful bicycle finding procedure I follow all the time, Word of Mouth.  Combining two bike finding procedures, produced this wonderfully preserved early eighties Gardin 400.

I prepare a Yard Sale Route the evening before I go Yard Sailing.  I do this to optimize my use of time and gasoline if using my truck, rather than my bicycle, to sail on.  Needless to say, some of the Yard Sales will be missed simply because they are too far out of the loop I tend to make when circling the city.  But that is not necessarily the end of the effort...

There are a few other people, I know, who collect things that I don't.  When I see something of interest to them, out comes the cell phone and I offer pertinent information as to what I have found.  For certain people, I will even purchase the item if authorized to do so.  And each of those Yard Sale Network People call me when they see an old bike up for grabs.  This really works well and many bikes, including this lovely old Gardin 400, have come my way through just such a methodology.

The Yard Sale window was fast closing when my cell phone played its little tune.  A fellow collector of bicycles called, asking if I would be interested in a Gardin.  Yup!  Sure would!  I jotted down the address information and headed directly to that location even though it was a considerable distance away at the time.

Pulling up in front of the house, I was relieved to see the bicycle still sitting there.  I was equally pleased to see that the Yard Sale Host was in the process of putting items away.  That usually means the Yard Sale is over and I might get a good last minute deal.  And I did.

A quick conversation with the fellow hosting the sale indicated that he would be happy to sell the bicycle for half the marked price which was $100.00.  Though my excitement grew, I kept my cool and countered with a $40.00 offer which he reluctantly accepted.  I paid the man and thanked him for the bike.  He shrugged his shoulders and went into a short account of why the bike was in such great shape.  Remember, the bike "as found" was pretty much mint.  And that is not an exaggeration.

As it turned out, the fellow had purchased the 400 brand new and transported it home in the back of his pick-up truck.  Once home, he took the bike around the block - one time only.  Deciding that he did not like the ride feel, he put the bike away in his basement where it sat until the day it was dragged back into the sunlight to help with the Yard Sale.  The bicycle, "as found" was practically un-ridden.

There was no chain marks on the big ring.  There was no paint worn off of the pedal tops.  The bar tape was pristine.  There was no lubrication/road grim build up on the chain.  The bike was showroom clean with the exception of some storage dust missed here and there.

I hustled the bicycle home in the back of the Ranger, thankful that I had found at least one bike that day.  Upon arriving home, I grabbed my digital camera and snapped some true, "as found" pictures of the bike.  I didn't even make any effort to improve on the state of cleanliness.  The pictures of the Gardin 400 with the drop bars are "as found".  Of course, the pics of the bike with the Bullhorns is a different story all together...

NEXT - BUILDING THE GARDIN 400

 

 

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