MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

PEUGEOT PB12 - INTRO

FINDING THE PEUGEOT PB12

BUILDING THE PEUGEOT PB12

RIDNING THE PEUGEOT PB12

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

 

  

FINDING THE PEUGEOT COURSE PB12

How I found the Peugeot is a story that stands out clearly in my mind and, for the first time, includes a bit of a sequel.

As I approached the first Yard Sale of the day, a half hour early and wondering how the day would go, I noticed the Yard Sale was not fully set-up.  A man, probably in his mid thirties, was scurrying back and forth between the back door of the house and the two foldable tables set up in the asphalt driveway.  As is my habit, and knowing that many people who host Yard Sales do not like "Early Birds", I approached the end of the driveway.  Bidding the busy fellow "good morning", I asked the apparent host if he had an old "Ten Speed" that he might want to part with.  His face brightened and he immediately stopped what he was doing.

At his invitation, I followed him up the driveway to his nice new shed, one of those build it yourself kit sheds that you see advertised in weekend home building flyers.  Once inside the tiny structure, the "PB12" presented itself.  Hanging right side up from a couple of home made wall brackets, the Peugeot waited.  But the front wheel was missing.  The wheel I noticed next, was sitting on the ground behind a bag of "lawn something or other".

Relieved by the presence of the wheel, my eyes flicked back to the bicycle.  I noticed that the biking shoes, the kind used with straps and traps, were still strapped to the pedals.  Then one of a bicycle's focal points, the crank and ring set, drew my eye.  It was a beautiful Stronglight crank set, with drilled rings.  My glance flicked here, then there, trying to take in the bicycle's details.  Everything seemed to be in incredible condition.  Closer inspection would later reveal that even the tires were in excellent shape.  The bike must have been stored in some kind of a time bubble.  What a great old road bike!  Certainly worth attempting to purchase...

Now this is where one can get into trouble.  The Peugeot was a really good bicycle and the owner probably knew it.  There is no telling how much value he will place on the carefully stored bike.  Then again, since the bicycle appeared to be all but unused, it could be that the owner had never really paid it much interest, in the first place.  Possibility "one" would cost a bit while possibility "two" might not.  With those thoughts in mind and rather than risk insulting the owner in the event that possibility "one" was the case, I invited him to suggest a value.  The price he offered the bicycle to me for was much lower than I would have offered.  I bought the bicycle, shoes, pump and all, for considerably less than the price of a large box of beer.

Even though I was quite excited at finding such a nice old road bike, I did calm down and looked the Peugeot over carefully.  The frame was a combination of Reynolds 501 tubing, coupled with forged Simplex drops.  Quality materials, certainly!  The pearl white finish was almost perfect, offering a very nice background, for the generous art work.  Art work, I might add, that has not permitted a single decal to be out of place.  The dark blue pin striping, outlining the lugs, is crisp and adds a hint of vintage appeal.  There are no assembly flaws visible, that I can recall.  The lugs are cleanly installed with no file marks, what-so-ever.  Drops blend smoothly, into the stays and fork blades, with no hint of gaps, bubbles or poor fit.  Absolutely beautiful construction, and a bicycle to behold, because of it.  To me, this is what a quality bicycle is all about.  Quality materials combined with quality workmanship.  Both are necessary!

The young man, hosting the Yard Sale, and I chatted about the bicycle, for a short while, but he did indicate that he needed to get back, to setting up the Yard Sale.  Of course he did, and I was in a hurry, to go and find another bicycle, since the Thunder Bay Yard Sale window, does not remain open for long.

The price agreed on, was paid, and the Peugeot was plucked, from its perch.  I slipped the front wheel into place and, even with no air in the tires, realized that the bicycle was a bit too big.  Perhaps, way too big, is a better way of putting it.  But the $25.00 price was right, and the bike was perfect, or close to it.  The leather cycling shoes were removed from the "traps", and I prepared to leave.

As I headed to the Ranger, wheeling my new found prize along side, the Yard Sale host kept pace.  He walked me to the pick-up, apparently having forgotten all about setting up his Yard Sale.  As I carefully tied the bicycle into the back of the Ranger, he mentioned that he had offered the Peugeot, in two previous yard sales - with no takers.  I indicated that I knew what he meant, suggesting that people were more into mountain bicycles these days.  He readily agreed.  Before leaving, I asked him if he knew of any other old road bikes, that might be for sale?  He didn't, but he did hand me the cycling shoes, that I had forgot to pick up when we left his shed.

I took the Peugeot straight home, not wanting to risk keeping it in the truck, should I find other bicycles that day.  The Peugeot's cosmetics were exceptionally good.  Extra care would be needed to ensure that they stayed that way.

There is a wee sequel to this tale...

A year or two later, I ran across this same fellow, at a completely different Yard Sale.  One that he was helping to host, at his friend's place of business.  Failing to recognize him, I asked if he had any bicycles for sale.  The approaching middle age fellow said no, quickly adding that I had already bought one bicycle from him.  I did a double take and the memory kicked in...

I asked if he had sold me an old Peugeot.  He said that he had, and wished now that he hadn't.  He admitted that the bicycle was probably worth more than he had asked.  The funny thing is, he was and wasn't right.  Three years previous, when I bought the PB12, it was a valueless item in Thunder Bay, but worth a pretty good dollar, on the international scene.  Today, for what I paid, that same bicycle would be snatched up, where I live, in a heartbeat - and, for five times what I paid - without hesitation and no questions asked.  Vintage road bicycle ownership has finally caught on, where I live, and vintage bicycle values are increasing rapidly.

NEXT - BUILDING THE PEUGEOT COURSE PB12

 

 

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