MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

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

MY "TEN SPEEDS"  

1958 CARLTON FLYER - INTRO

FINDING THE FLYER

BUILDING THE FLYER

REFURBISHING THE FLYER

RIDING THE FLYER

 

BICYCLES OF ENGLAND

 

 

 

 

FINDING THE CARLTON FLYER

The Carlton Flyer was a gift from a complete, and very kind stranger.  Upon opening my Hotmail one day, an assortment of bicycle related messages sat staring me in the face.  As is my practice, I started at the bottom of the list and worked my way to the top.  Doing so, I came upon a very interesting message from a fellow who had found my email address on my first web site, Vintage Life Cycles.

The content of the email was simple.  The fellow wanted to know if I knew anyone who would be interested in restoring an old Carlton bicycle.  He had intended to restore the Carlton but now knew that he would never get around to it.  With that in mind, he did a search for Carlton on the Web and found his way to my first website where I have a feature on a 1971 Carlton Professional that I owned at the time.  I might add that he also included a single picture of his Carlton that got all of my interest immediately.

Needless to say, I emailed the gentleman and indicated that I would be very interested in the bicycle myself.  And that was all it took.

A few minutes later, an email came back from the Carlton owner.  He literally gave me the bicycle, free of charge and even insisted on paying the shipping.  Now, this is the sort of kindness that I show from time to time.  I like to do nice things for other people.  And it is really nice when someone, for no reason other than to be kind, does something like this for me.  I truly appreciated the gesture and the results.

After a series of emails the Carlton fellow and I had worked out the packing and shipping details.  I offered to give the gentleman something in trade for his kindness and he told me that he like muzzle loaders and his daughter wanted a pony.  Well, guns and horses are difficult to ship across an international boundary but I did get a kick out of his sense of humour.

The Carlton was to be shipped to a good friend's house in Duluth, Minnesota.  Duluth is about a four hour drive from where I live.  I might add that I visit Duluth quite often.  The state of Minnesota has beautiful riding trails and I like to make use of them whenever I visit.

Once the Carlton was shipped, I informed my friend in Duluth that it was on its way and would she let me know when it arrived.  A few days passed, then a week and then two.  Still no bicycle.  I began to think that I must have been dreaming.  Finally, I contacted the Carlton owner, who apologized for not shipping the bicycle when he had intended to.  He gave me a very good reason for the delay.  Four days later, the Carlton was in my friend's garage in Duluth.

The following weekend my riding buddy and I headed for Duluth.  Our time would be spent a riding the Munger Trail, visiting bicycle shops and picking up the Carlton.  What a great day that literally brimmed with anticipation.  And even though I could not wait to see the Carlton, my chum and I stuck to our plan for the day, spending a few hours on the Munger trail, followed by a visit to a favourite bicycle shop and then, finally, up to see the Carlton.

The bicycle was sitting in our friend's garage, all boxed up and looking mysterious.  My trusty little Swiss Army pocket knife was out in a flash.  I cut the packing tape holding the top of the packing box in place.  And there it was!  A jumbled mess of chrome, wheels, tires, cables and all the other items that go into making a bicycle a bicycle.  But this conglomeration did not look like a bicycle.

My chum and I quickly removed and untangled all of the items in the box.  He and I then hastily assembled the Carlton for a better look.  The image and potential offered was stunning.  I knew immediately that this was a bicycle well worth any effort within reason to restore.

With the weekend in Duluth over, and a 1978 Chevy Suburban full of bicycles (one Trek 1200, one Miele LTD, and the Carlton), my chum and I headed for Canada and home.

NEXT - BUILDING THE CARLTON FLYER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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