MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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DUMP LEGNANO - INTRO

THE DUMP LEGNANO FIND

BUILD THE DUMP LEGNANO

RIDING THE DUMP LEGNANO 

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

 

RIDING THE DUMP FOUND LEGNANO

After building the Legnano up, I gave the bike one last check over and took off for a ride.  My usual "first ride stuff" was with me, however; I had decided to not install my clip-in pedals.  The Rat Traps, without the Traps, would be fine and off I went on a "get to know the bicycle and fit it to me" ride.

The Spring morning was somewhat gloomy, overcast is perhaps a better word, but not all that chilly.  The air was fresh and everything was pretty quiet.  It was Sunday and quite early in the day.  Normally, at this time and on a Sunday, I would head for the wet lands, a conservation area that offers great scenery and a round trip ride of roughly fifteen miles.  Good roads, a couple of so-so hills and the smell of Lake Superior.  What more could one ask for?

But I didn't go that way for some reason.  I headed north east and found myself on Lakeshore Drive, a fifteen mile stretch of secondary highway, that was in serious need of resurfacing.  But I kept going and rode until the secondary highway turned into the main Trans Canada highway, a nightmare for bicyclists.  I turned around and headed back, thoroughly impressed with this old, not so special bicycle.  The Legnano was offering something I hadn't expected - relaxation!

The bike was a joy to ride.  Not in the performance sense, but from a vintage feel point of view. And I believe that it was then that the appreciation for Old School vintage feel took hold.  I really liked the feel of the old Legnano.  It shifted OK and had a very mechanical feel to the changing of gears.  The brakes stopped the bicycle OK, but they had to be pulled fairly hard to do so.  And that kind of pulling helped to feel the bicycle's speed down.  The ride was incredibly stable, with thanks for the stability going to what is most likely a very long wheel base.  Though the bicycle felt stable, it also offered a nimble or light feel that most road bicyclists cherish.  Not performance light but relaxed light.  As if the bicycle could be ridden anywhere, with little or no effort.  Helping you understand the elusive vintage feel is somewhat like my trying to explain blue to a bat.  I doubt that it can be done.

That, so called, shake down ride took me fifteen miles east of the city and back.  Then twelve miles west  of the city and finally home. The Legnano and I had shared roughly fifty great test ride miles, and done so on a beautiful morning.  A morning which, by the way, turned sunny about twelve miles west of Thunder Bay.  I discovered that I should have dressed differently.  By the time the Legnano and I arrived home, one of us was pooped, thirsty and sweat soaked.

Since then, I have made a point out of riding the more mundane vintage bicycles that I find, not always seeking top of the line performance.  And I am frequently rewarded by the charming vintage ride that these old, not so special, bicycles have to offer.  Don't pass one up, just because it isn't made of chrome moly tubing.

Sadly, I never knew how much I liked the Legnano, until after I passed it on to someone else.  I never did take many pictures of this fine old bicycle and for that I am sorry.  However, I did manage to get myself another Legnano, and this time one that I did a bit more to...

 

 

 

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