Each year, when possible, my wife and I like to travel across Canada, targeting Calgary, Alberta as our final destination.  This fifteen hundred mile drive, one way, includes stops at Winnipeg, Regina, Moose Jaw, and, of course, Calgary.  At each of these cities, my wife and I stop to visit friends, and/or relatives.

And, also at each of these stops, I hunt for vintage bicycles, but only old road bicycles.  On this particular trip, a total of six, high end and highly collectible, bicycles found their way, into the box of the Ranger, all about to make the fifteen hundred mile journey to Thunder Bay.

While staying in Calgary, at my mother's place, I was cruising the pages of the Calgary Craigslist.  I rarely get the opportunity to do this in Thunder Bay.  Craigslist is not a well received, on-line trading opportunity where I live, for some reason.  Anyway...

While perusing the list of bicycles offered, I stumbled across a listing for a Proctor.  I should add that I stumbled across the listing, with-in minutes of its being posted.  Long ago, I learned that one must act quickly, and decisively, when the opportunity to purchase a vintage bicycle surfaces.  More-so, if the bicycle is of the Proctor's quality level.  Failure to act immediately will, far more often than not, end in missing the acquisition opportunity.

With the need for speed, foremost in my mind, I called the seller, made an appointment for immediate viewing, and I invited my wife to join the hunt.  She, and I, jumped into the now aging Ranger, and headed out, city map in hand, hoping that we would not experience the same sort of horror story, we did, the day before, when I purchased a gorgeous, eighties something, Gianni Motta Personal.

Fortunately, the finding of the Proctor's location, proved to be a relatively straight forward task.  Allowing my wife to navigate, and she is much better at it than I am, we drove, like a heat seeking missile, directly to the seller's home.

While my wife waited in the Ranger, I approached the neatly kept house and knocked on the front door.  A slim fellow, about my age, answered, inquired as to who I was, and then invited me to go around back, to the garage.  I did so.

The day was bright and sunny.  When I entered the garage, it took a moment, or two, for my eyes to adjust to the comparative gloom.  Though the lighting was not all that bad, my eyes are.  At any rate, the wonderful image of the brightly coloured Proctor came quickly into focus.

My first reaction, which I have finally learned to keep carefully hidden, was WOW!  What a pretty bicycle!  And in near perfect condition!  And the asking price was only $350.00.  WOW!

None the less, I kept my cool, complimented the owner of the bicycle on its beauty, as I set about a careful inspection of the Velo steed.  I should add that it has taken me years to slow down, when looking over a potential acquisition.  Failure to do so can lead to nasty realizations, once one gets a poorly inspected bicycle home.  Nasty realizations?  You do not want to miss seeing frame damage before making an offer to purchase.  That is really important!  Anyway...

After a careful inspection, I could find little wrong with the Proctor.  As I was looking the bicycle over, the owner shared a bit of the Proctor's history with me.

First of all, the bicycle is a Proctor, not a Proctor-Townsend.  Purchased in 1980 and after a few years of active ownership, the original owner commissioned the repainting of his bicycle, through the newer Proctor-Townsend shop.  Having no Proctor decals to apply, the newer issue Proctor-Townsend ones were selected.  Proctor-Townsend, incidentally, is the successor to the Proctor line.

At any rate, the inspection took only a few minutes.  I was convinced that the asking price was more than fair, for such a well kept quality road bicycle.  None the less, I rarely pay asking price and, with that in mind, I counter offered.  The owner and I debated, the virtues of the bicycle, and my ability to pay his price, for about ten seconds.  And then he accepted my offer of $250.00.  Great!

I thanked him for his cooperation and proceeded to collect my prize.  As I was doing so, the old guy opened a large cupboard, offering me what spare vintage road bicycle parts he had in there.  He went on to explain that he had just retired, purchased a brand spanking new $7000.00  Scott road bicycle, which he was intend to ride to Vancouver, in two days time.  Apparently, the fellow, in support of his retirement, has sold his house and intended to dump as much stuff as he could.

Well, the seller gave me the spare items free of charge.  The list of items included a near new set of Campy Record hubs, laced to Mavic clincher rims and fitted with new tires.  An additional set of NOS Continental gum-walls were also included.  My day was getting better and better.

Next, he pulled out a trainer which I still have and use to this day.  Other items surfaced also, including a brand new set of clip-in pedals, a Cinelli Giro d-Italia set of handlebars, with matching stem, two near new tubular tires, a set of unused Campy Record pedals and an assortment of odds and ends that no longer come to mind.  My day was getting better and better.  I could not wait to get the bicycle back to my mother's place for a more thorough inspection, followed, hopefully, by a test ride.