MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

BIANCHI REKORD 848 - INTRO

FINDING THE BIANCHI 848

BUILDING THE BIANCHI 848

RIDING THE BIANCHI 848

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

  

FINDING THE BIANCHI "REKORD 848"

I have owned two 848 Bianchi bicycles, one that was challenged cosmetically and a bit too big, the other, this very nice, and near perfect, Bianchi, found by accident one day, partly hidden by an assortment of other debris, in the back of a junked pick-up truck.

When I retired, my wife and I decided to travel across Canada visiting our children, friends and, in my case, mother and siblings.  Our journey spanned a full month and took us to such places as Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary and home again.  During that time, it was my plan to include bicycle riding and hunting to its fullest on a daily basis.  And that is exactly what I did. To ensure that I could do the ride thing, I took my Miele LTD with me.  As it turned out, I could have left the Miele at home and never missed a single day's riding thanks to all of the vintage bicycles found on the trip - twelve in total.

One Saturday morning, while visiting our daughter and her family in Winnipeg, my wife and I set out early to go and see what Winnipeg's Yard Sailing scene was all about. Not being all that familiar with the city of Winnipeg, we just cruised and looked for Yard Sale signs, of which there must be a thousand or more each weekend during the nicer weather.

Now Winnipeg Yard Sales are a bit different than those in my home town.  Yard Sales in the Peg last for the full day and are often run out of garages which empty onto paved back laneways.  Thunder Bay Yard Sales, on the other hand have a four or five hour window on Saturday and that's about it.  At any rate, I am not sure which system I prefer but the Winnipeg scene did prove to be interesting.

As it turned out while cruising and looking, I missed a sign that my wife noticed and in an effort to retrace my steps, used a back alley to go back to where she had seen the sign.  As we negotiated the narrow laneway, I noticed just a tiny bit of a road bicycle's rear wheel sticking out of the bed of a trashed half ton pick-up.  I stopped the Ranger, and got out to have a better look.  I should add that the trashed truck was not behind a fence or any other obstruction.  It was very easy for me to get a good look at the bicycle without any kind of trespassing what so ever.  I do not enter a person's yard when I see an old bicycle stored outside unless it is to knock on their front door and inquire about the bicycle.

Needless to say, I was impressed with what looked to be a pretty nice European Bianchi in the color I adore - Celeste green.  However, the front wheel was missing.  Then, beside the trashed truck, I noticed the wheel.  Making a mental note of which house I would have to recognize from the front street, I steered the Ranger to the end of the lane and up the front street, stopping in front of what I was sure to be the right house.  It was, but nobody was at home at the time.

About the best thing that I could do then, was to leave a note indicating my interest and include a telephone number for the owner to call.  I did just that and headed off to where my wife had noticed the other Yard Sale sign.  No call came in that evening.

The next day, Sunday, I headed back over to the Bianchi house and knocked on the door.  A young fellow, probably in his late twenties, answered.  I introduced myself and intention.  Three minutes and twenty dollars later, the Bianchi was being loaded into the Ranger.  A half hour later, I was giving it a full inspection, just to see what I had spent my twenty dollars on.

NEXT - BUILDING THE BIANCHI REKORD 848

 

 

 

 

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