MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

DUMP LEGNANO - INTRO

THE DUMP LEGNANO FIND

BUILD THE DUMP LEGNANO

RIDING THE DUMP LEGNANO 

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

 

FINDING THE DUMP FOUND LEGNANO

Each Spring, the City of Thunder Bay has a Free Dumping Week at the local landfill site.  Since my scavenging presence is tolerated at the local site, I make a point out of spending most of the free week, waiting to see what shows up next.  I pack myself a lunch, load up a couple of bottles of water and then position myself near the metal discard pile.  There, I will keep vigil for the twelve hour period that makes up each day. I watch each vehicle that comes into the Dump.  I seek opportunities to meet people and offer assistance if it looks as if they are struggling to unload "whatever".  And I get quite a few vintage road bicycle leads this way  I do this for the full seven day free dumping period.  Frequently, with great results...

The day I came across the Legnano was a miserably wet Spring day, the kind that turns the Landfill site into a "four wheel drive vehicles only" area and there were signs posted to that effect.  I spent much of the Free Dump Days, inside the truck, with the window cracked slightly, wondering to myself if this was really worth it?  Not really much dumping going on in the horribly, Arc and Noah like, wet weather.  The thought of heading for the warmth and comfort of home loomed, on and off, that day.

In an effort to break the day up, I sometimes go "up top" to see what has been left in the "dump just about everything else" area.  From time to time people, who still haven't figured out that we need to be careful of Mother Earth, fail to be careful.  Those unenlightened souls can't be bothered to toss metal stuff away in the metal stuff pile.  Anyway, I took a tour "up top".  By the way, the term "up top" is literal, since the landfill site fill is reaching BIG HILL proportions.  Now a-days, you must drive up a hill to toss the stuff into "everything else" in hole.  The hole, that became a hill.   A hill of garbage that offers one of the best views in the area, assuming that you don't look down.

I don't like going "up top" since it stinks and is, generally, the ideal place to get your tires slashed.  At any rate, the "hop to the top" took not long in the half-ton and proved to be pretty much unrewarding.  However, as I was returning to the metal pile, things changed...

In my brief absence from the metal pile, someone had tossed away a pink, eighties something, Peugeot "Fixed Gear" or "Single Speed" steed.  It was difficult to tell, at first glance.  The bicycle was rough looking, but only in the cosmetic sense.  A Campagnolo Victory crank set, converted to a single ring drive, drew my attention immediately.  The crank set, to me, is a focal point on any vintage road bicycle.  First glance takes in the entire bike.  Second glance the crank and rings, moving out from there to absorb other less prominent details of design and intended function.

As my glance started its outward journey, taking in such unimpressive things as rotten tires, oxidized rims and Phil Wood flip/flop hub, I began to wonder if...  Phil Wood flip/flop hub!  The focus had shifted to the rear wheel, which did have a truly shot rim.  But the rim was laced to a very high end and unusual hub.  This was a good Dump find.  So was the Campy crank set.

Minutes later a seventies something (best guess) Nishiki Landeau, that had earlier been loaded into a utility trailer, showed up after having made it's apparent last journey.  As the Nishiki's owner was about to toss the bicycle,  I asked if he would mind giving it to me.  He seemed more than happy to do so.  I figure that he probably felt relieved that he did not actually have to feed his once cherished bicycle to the Landfill's bulldozer.

After ogling the hub, the crank and the Nishiki for a bit, I sat down in the Ranger to have a bite to eat.  While sitting there and enjoying my lunch, I happened to notice what looked like a bicycle wheel peeking out of the bushes on the other side of the road.  Needless to say, my interest was piqued.

Putting the sandwich, down probably somewhere quite unsanitary, I crossed the path and wheedled my way into the brush.  Even before I had reached the bicycle, I could clearly see the decal on the down tube - Legnano.  Now this IS what vintage bicycle hunting can be all about!

A Legnano!  Legnano bicycles are very collectable.  Legnanos are Italian.  This was a good Dump Day!  How lucky can one get?  Well, not all that lucky, as it turned out.

The Legnano was nothing special in the world of vintage bicycles, other than it was a Legnano.  The bicycle was a collection of mostly entry level components including, Campagnolo Velox transmission, Universal brakes, Nervar cottered cranks framed by horribly faded paint.  The paint, however, went really well with the torn and tattered cotton handlebar tape.  No tubing decal boasted of the Legnano's pedigree.  The bicycle was ordinary.  But interesting as well.

The head set was quite different and added a little something that I could not define at first.  Cottered cranks added to that something which I could not figure out, but were, after all, only cottered cranks?  Certainly not a bicycle worth paying all that much attention to.  But the cranks were attractive.  And the brakes, Universal, were a bit unusual and in pretty nice shape.  In fact, closer inspection revealed that most of the bicycle was in nice shape, except for the previously mentioned, faded paint.  Even the wheels appeared to be serviceable.  My interest grew...

Along with my other finds for the day, I dragged the Legnano home and stuffed everything into a fairly full Old Shed.  I called it a day, but have to admit that thoughts of the Legnano followed me into the house.  Every now and again, during the course of the evening, the Legnano' presence passed through my mind.

Several days later, after Free Dump Week had come and gone, I took a really good look at the Legnano.  Though the paint was shot, the rest of the bicycle really was in good shape.  Even the art was not all that bad.  Though the bicycle looked rough, the well developed "patina of age" suited the machine.  My interest increased again and I decided that I wanted to ride the bicycle.

Riding, other than test riding, a bicycle means a full refurbishment of all mechanical components - before the riding part begins.  With that simple rule in mind, I rebuilt the Legnano, but did so on the tightest of all budgets - zero.

NEXT - BUILDING THE DUMP LEGNANO

 

 

 

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