MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

1983 GARDIN - INTRO

FINDING THE 1983 GARDIN

BUILDING THE 1983 GARDIN

RIDING THE 1983 GARDIN

1983 GARDIN - COMPLETE

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

 

  

FINDING THE GARDIN ANNIVERSARY

There are several different ways that I find vintage bicycles and one of them, the most recently discovered, is incredibly effective.  The Gardin Anniversary was found through my activities with Bicycles for Humanity - Thunder Bay (B4H-TB) that includes an "Earn A Bike" program.

B4H-TB volunteers collect bicycles, prepare them for shipping and then ship them to needy people in Africa.  To date the group has shipped over 2,200 used bicycles overseas.  And another 550 are packed in a shipping container waiting for the remaining funds to be raised so that our fifth shipment can be on its way.

B4H volunteers can, if they so wish, earn a bicycle or two by volunteering their time to the organization.  I have found also that simply being involved with the group can lead to bicycle finds that might not otherwise come my way.  And that is how this gorgeous limited edition bicycle found its way into The Old Shed...

In an effort to create interest in the B4H-TB display at a local Farmer's Market, I decided to host a vintage racing bicycle display.  I took about ten of my own bicycles and invited other collectors to display their machines, if they wished to do so.  The result was a fairly impressive collection of vintage bicycles that not only tended to draw interest but also managed to help me collect almost $500.00 is donations and T-Shirt sales.  But that was not all that happened...

As the display day was drawing near the end, a middle aged guy was looking very closely at each of the display bicycles, one after the other.  I said something or other to the young man in welcome to our presentation and he quickly joined me in conversation.  He commented on the Canadian made bicycles on display, showing considerable interest in the Gardin Team.  As we talked, I informed him that the Canadian mounts were my own personal bikes and that I collected top of the line and special issue Canadian racers.

Nodding his approval and commenting positively on the work B4H-TB is doing, he told me that he had an old Gardin frame set that had come equipped with a Campagnolo 50th Anniversary grouppo.  Now, I would be among the first to think that any frame set equipped with such a grouppo would probably be something a cut above.  With that in mind, I could hardly wait for a chance to view the frame set.

At any rate, Ken (the fellow's name) was good enough to give me his telephone number, suggesting that I give him a call the second half of April.  At call time, Ken apologized and put me off until closer to the end of the month.  Fair enough but such put offs usually result in dead ends.  None the less, I waited and called again near month's end.  This time I was granted an opportunity to view the bicycle.  Ken and I set a time for the following day.

The next day came and I started the three or four block walk to have a look at the frame set.  Yep, the darn thing was less than half a mile away from my house where it had been in storage for nearly twenty five years.  It was a beautiful Spring day, a bit on the brisk side, but sunny and pleasant to enjoy.  I walked the few blocks and, arriving early, decided to cruise the lane with hopes of discovering another "Ten Speed".  And, sure enough, I did but the bike was nothing worth bringing home.

When I finished circling the back lane excursion the door to fellow's garage door was open, as promised, and Ken was waiting for my arrival.  Though the garage had decent windows, it was still a garage and somewhat gloomy compared to the bright sunlight.  But the gloom did little to hide what would soon prove to be a wonderful find for a guy like me.

To say that the frame set was a cut above can only be considered to be an understatement.  I have several really nice, top of the line or special issue bicycles and not one of them equals the beauty and originality of the Gardin's cosmetic preparation.  The frame set sported a few paint and art blemishes but was overall in great shape.  A bit of touch up one day would prove to be an easy enough task to execute.  The art, however, was typically Gardin and not all that impressive in my mind.  Though the white art contrasts perfectly with the metallic red paint, the decal design is not all that easy on the eye (my eyes anyway).  But overall, the art is just fine since it is original and I have no intention of ever repainting the bicycle.

I do, however, plan on touching up the paint stripping as well as the window dressing.  The window cut-outs in the lugs are filled with yellow paint which really adds to the Special's appearance.  In addition to that nice touch, there are several pantographs on the frame and fork set that are also filled with yellow paint.  The cosmetic effect, in my humble opinion, is great.

The chrome on the forks and stays was perfect or pretty darn close to it.  The drops, also chromed, had been treated to a bit of paint and paint stripping outline.  At first I could not help but wonder why bother?  But as I grew accustomed to the bicycle I realized that this little extra effort had its place on this beautiful frame set.  At first, I considered removing the drops paint but choose now to not do so.  The Gardin will keep its "as issued" clothing.

NEXT - BUILDING THE GARDIN ANNIVERSARY

 

 

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