MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

RALEIGH GRAND PRIX - INTRO

FINDING THE GRAND PRIX

INSPECT/BUILD THE MIXTE

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

 

  

FINDING THE 198? RALEIGH GRAND PRIX

In the course of a single year, it is not uncommon for me to have my hands on, and/or access to, a thousand old bicycles, or more.  A good deal, of this access, is a result of following my own Bicycle Finding Procedures, however; many bicycles now come my way, though I do not have access to all of them, through a wonderful organization - Bicycles for Humanity.

I like to think of myself, as one of the key players in helping our local chapter of B4H achieve sustainability.  I am the fellow, responsible for bicycle collection, organizing at least two bicycle donation drives, each year.

As part of my pick-up duties, I go to people's homes, at their request, to pick up offered bicycles.  And, finally, at B4H, people can donate bicycles, anytime during the year, that best suits their situations.

In addition to my bicycle acquisition duties, I also manage the B4H repair/storage facility, ensuring it remains organized, well supplied with needed stuff, and safe to work in.  To that responsibility, it has fallen on my shoulders, for a few years now, to train people who want to learn how to maintain bicycles.

Though this sounds like a lot of work, and quite frankly, it is, I love doing it.  As a reward, for all of the time, effort and cash that I invest in the B4H endeavour,  I, like anyone else, am entitled to claim a donated bicycle, through the B4H Earn A Bike Program.

And that, sort of, is how I came to own this near mint old Raleigh Mixte - but there is a twist...

It costs me a lot of money, each year, to make between fifty and a hundred bicycle pick-ups.  I might add, that is a conservative estimate.  The point is, it costs a lot to collect bicycles, when the people donating them, do not have the means to deliver the bikes, to a defined location.

In an effort to optimize my use of gasoline, I plan my pick-up days, and pick-up routes, trying my best to keep mileage as low as possible, while maximizing how many bicycles I get per load.  The average is eight adult bikes per truck bed full.  But this is still a dollars and cents consuming business, and any opportunity to reduce my costs were always sought out.

It occurred to me that some people could not make our drop off times, Tuesday mornings and Wednesday evenings.  With this in mind, I started inviting people to drop their donated bicycles off at my house.  WOW!

How would you like to be mixing yourself a cup of tea, glance out the rear window into the back yard, as you stirred the tea, only to see someone wheeling a, drop dead gorgeous, eighties something Sekine MR300 across the lawn.  And, would you feel any better if he, or she, leaned the bicycle against the apple tree, and left it there, while they went back to their vehicle, only to wheel a second bicycle over to the tree.

That bicycle, was this eighties something, Canadian made Raleigh Grand Prix Mixte.

NEXT - INSPECTING & BUILDING THE MIXTE

 

 

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