Indirectly, this beautiful, mid seventies, Canadian made Marinoni came from the local landfill site, which I will refer to as the Dump.  While scouting the Dump, one warm sunny day, I came across a very old French road bicycle.  The head badge, and barely legible decals, indicated that the bicycle was a Rochet Paris, or perhaps a Rochet that was made in Paris.  I was immediately interested in the Rochet, even though its condition was challenged on all levels - cosmetics, mechanics, and frame structure itself.  The Rochet was in need of a complete restoration.

The Rochet's component grouppo consisted of a four speed cog set, coupled with a very old Simplex transmission.  Many of the original components were pantographed with the Rochet name.  Even the pedals bore the name of the bicycle, with the letters actually forming part of the pedal structure.  The entire bicycle reeked of vintage appeal. I knew that the old French bicycle would be a challenge to restore, but the result would certainly be rewarding, and worthwhile.  All that said, restoring a bicycle, such as the Rochet, is a project that will require considerably more resources and skill than most people will have access to.  Definitely not a project for a novice!

Not long after bringing the Rochet home, along with a mid seventies Holdsworth Equipe discovered the same day, I got down to the business of researching the old French bicycle.  Part of the research process included a trip to a favourite vintage road bicycle forum.  Pleased with the Rochet find, I informed the other forum participants of my prize, and asked if anyone, knew anything, about the old bicycle.

As it turned out, there were a few people who did know a bit.  Within a single day, one fellow forum member e-mailed me, offering to purchase the bicycle.  Though I was planning on keeping the Rochet myself, I did suggest that I might consider a trade for another bicycle.  I went on to indicate that my collecting interest focused on high end Canadian racing bicycles.  He informed me that he had such a bicycle, A 1976 Marinoni, that he had restored himself.  I indicated an interest, in his bicycle, following which we exchanged lots pictures and information.  The Forum Fellow and I, spent a couple of weeks corresponding, as we worked our way towards a deal.  In the end, we agreed on an even exchange, with each of us would pay our own shipping costs.

I have a fair amount of experience shipping bicycles and frame sets internationally.  I did not mind sending the Rochet all the way to Seattle.  The Forum Fellow, however, did not feel this same level of shipping confidence.  He shipped the Marinoni, with my permission, to a friend in Duluth, Minnesota.  We agreed to ship our bicycles on a given day, after which I simply sat back, filled with impatience and anxiety, to wait.

A few days passed and my friend e-mailed me from Duluth, informing me that a big package had arrived.  Her e-mail indicated that the box appeared to be undamaged.  I was thrilled and heaved a quiet sigh of relief.  There are hazards with doing business on-line.  I still had to wait until the weekend before I could drive to Duluth and pick up the Marinoni.

Once sure that the bicycle was in Duluth, I called my riding chum and invited him to head for the States on the weekend.  He and I could ride the Munger Trail on our vintage road bikes, visit a friend at a local bicycle shop and then pick up the Marinoni at his niece's house.  He was in immediately.  Plans were made to load up our bicycles and leave very early Saturday.  With luck, we would reach the starting point for our ride about nine in the morning.

The sky was somewhat overcast, as I tied my Miele LTD, into the bed of the Ranger.  On my way to my buddy's place, I called to offer an ETA and he was waiting, riding clothes in one hand and his Trek 1200 in the other.  As we were tying his ride into the truck, the sky opened up and rain drops, the size of Saskatoon berries, began to fall, in a torrent.  My anxiety soared, as we hurried to complete our task, and get inside the truck cab.  His Trek and my Miele would have to weather a pretty nasty storm, for the next four hours.  I even considered, because of the down pour, leaving our rides at home and forgetting the Munger Trail.  Nope - neither one of us was having anything to do with that plan.

The rain continued, for the three and a half hours, that it takes to reach Duluth.  Just as we were entering the last stage of the trip, the sun peeked through the clouds and, liking what it saw, burst into its full summer glory.  The clouds vanished, in an almost magic like fashion, and our outlooks on the day brightened, almost as much as the day had itself.

As we made our way through scenic Duluth, the city was just coming to life.  Drinks and snacks, had already been purchased on the road, and our next stop would be the starting point on the Munger.

The Munger Trail ride went great.  We rode through Carlton and on to the next small village that the trail passes through.  There we stopped, had a wee snack, soaked up the sun and chatted with a local, or two, who happened to pass by.  The return trip offered the wonderful reward of beer and spicy fries at "The Third Base" tavern.  More good conversation, and then an easy downhill ride back to Duluth.  Of course, a two or three degree downhill slope doesn't mean that much, when faced with a headwind.  A headwind blew up suddenly and offered an extra bit of return home challenge.

With the ride completed, we checked out our favourite bicycle shop and asked to be allowed to visit the basement.  There, I found a 1971 Atala Professional for twenty bucks and the seller threw in a set of Cinelli old logo track bars for free.  Bars, I might add though I did not know it at the time, that would one day be mounted on the Marinoni that I was about to see in person, for the first time.

When my chum and I arrived at his niece's house, we immediately went into the garage to have a look.  The Marinoni's shipping container (a regular bicycle box) was undamaged and resting off to one side of the garage.  My pocket knife made short work of the packing tape and, poof, or almost anyway, there was an absolutely gorgeous, bright orange, top of the line, Canadian bicycle from the mid seventies, peeking up from the cardboard cavity.

The Marinoni looks considerably different today than it did the day we took it out of the box and assembled it.  However, even fitted the way it was when I got the bike, the Marinoni was still pretty impressive, with its bright powder coated frame set and gorgeous Fleur-de-lie pantographs.  To say that I was impressed is saying the least.  Today, the "Quebec" bicycle is my favourite, even though it is not my favourite ride - yet.  The favourite ride honour still rests with my eighties something Miele LTD.