MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

BIANCHI VOLPE - INTRO

FINDING THE VOLPE

RIDING THE VOLPE

 

BICYCLES OF JAPAN

  

FINDING THE 1987 BIANCHI VOLPE

Finding the Bianchi Volpe was as easy as informing people that I was looking for an old bicycle.  In this particular case, I simply listed an on-line wanted advertisement on Kijiji, a buy/sell/trade on-line site that functions is Thunder Bay.  Kijiji is much like Craigs list, which, for some reason, has not attracted bicycle listings worth mentioning.

When I list on Kijiji, I pay five dollars for a Top Page, seven day listing.  That means, for seven days in a row, my bicycle wanted listing, will be the first thing a person, who clicks on the page, will see.  I have had pretty good luck, with this bicycle finding procedure and, combined with all the others, it helps to keep the inward bound flow of vintage bicycles going.

As I was out riding, one sunny afternoon in the middle of the summer, my cell phone sounded off.  I pulled over, as quickly as I could, scrambled to stuff my half-gloved hand into my jean pocket, to retrieve my phone.

The person calling, asked for me by name, and went on to tell me, he had an old road bicycle to sell.  Usually, the term "road bike" means something a cut above what I might expect, if the reference indicated the bike to be a "Ten Speed".  There is a lesson there, by the way.

Well, I let the fellow know that I was about ten minutes away, by bicycle, and asked if it would be OK, to drop by, in the next little while.  He said sure, probably as anxious to sell the bike, as I was to look at it.

The guy did ask how long I would be, and I gave him a pretty accurate estimate.  I ride the routes of Thunder Bay lots, and have a pretty good idea of how long it takes me to get from here to there, and back again, if I mean business.  And, in this particular case, I did mean business.  I always do when on the trail of another potential vintage road bicycle find.

Anyway, the fellow said that would be fine.  He added, that he would have the bicycle, sitting out front of his house, so that it would be easier for me to find.  Worked for me.

With that conversation out of the way, and the address hopefully, committed to memory, I tucked the cell phone back into my pocket, clipped in and zoomed away.  Well, I guess at my age, I don't actually zoom, anymore.  But, I don't wobble, either.   As I recall, I was riding my newly acquired Marinoni Squadra, a turn of the century lugged steel beauty that I love to ride.

As I pulled up to the house, the bicycle and its owner were both out front to greet me, the fellow sitting on the front steps, and the Bianchi leaning.  I was having a pretty good time, just about then.

I removed my helmet, as I made my way up the narrow concrete path, allowing my eye to snap here and there, taking in as much as I could as fast as I could without giving my interest away.  Casting a last quick glance, I made eye contact, stepped forward and introduced myself.  The guy said he recognized me, mentioning that he had seen me on TV, sharing the Bicycles for Humanity vision and quest with the people of Thunder Bay.

At any rate, our conversation quickly turned to the Bianchi, which I had just noticed was fitted with cantilever brakes and a triple ring - yahoo!  What was I looking at here?

One of the first things to streak through my mind was Italian or Asian.  There is a huge difference, in collectability, but not, necessarily, in quality.  I have owned some very nice Asian Bianchi bicycles, though in all honesty, I do prefer those of Italian origin.  As it turned out, this beautiful turquoise green Bianchi was from the Far East and a beautiful example of Asian bicycle building expertise.

Anyway, the previous owner and I struck a deal, and I paid in cash, but not until I had asked if he would hold the bike for me, while I rode home to get my pick-up truck.  The middle aged fellow had no problem with that, promising to keep the bike just inside his front door, until I returned.  He went on to offer me a receipt for my forty bucks, but I passed.  The act of offering was all I needed to confirm the young fella's honesty.

Even though I was having tons of fun buying the Bianchi Volpe, I had no idea how much more fun I would experience with the bike in the Summer days to come, while working and playing at my summer cottage on Loon Lake.

NEXT - RIDING THE BIANCHI VOLPE

 

 

 

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