MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

OLMO GRAND PRIX - INTRO

FINDING THE FIRST OLMO

BUILDING THE FIRST OLMO

RIDING THE FIRST OLMO

FINDING THE SECOND OLMO

BUILDING THE SECOND OLMO 

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

 

FINDING THE FIRST OLMO GRAND PRIX

The first time I ran across the Italian Red Olmo Grand Prix it was hanging on the back of a run down old sedan parked out front of a "Value Village" used clothing and stuff store.  My grandsons and I were bike hunting that early Spring day and I was immediately taken with the old Olmo.  I guess that I am a great deal like the famous Canadian Walleye, a favourite game and eating fish.  Dangle something bright and shiny in front of me and I will be immediately interested every time.  Color it orange and it becomes irresistible.  The Olmo was bright orange.  Anyway...

I took out one of my yellow "I am interested in your bicycle" cards, wrote down my interest, name and phone number and hung it on the bicycle.  That was that and the end of that.  No call ever came in about the bike.  But I did run across it a couple of weeks later.

The Italian Red Olmo, my favourite of the two Olmos in case you are interested, was purchased in a second hand bicycle shop that I frequent from time to time.  Though I paid a reasonable price for the bicycle, the amount I had to shell out was more than I was used to paying for my old mounts at the time.  That said, this was an Italian Olmo.  It was orange.  It was Campy equipped.  And it appeared to be well worth the price the shop owner was asking.  I did, none-the-less, counter his price with an offer of my own and he accepted.  Great, the Olmo and I went home together.

The Italian Red Olmo was the bicycle that taught me, NO MATTER WHAT, to check a bicycle over very carefully before trying to ride it.  Every bicycle, even the one you just bought brand new from a respectable dealer or department store, should be checked over by you BEFORE the first ride!  You are the one who will get hurt if things are not right.  Right?

Anyway, the Red Olmo looked to be in great condition.  Nice and clean.  Tires pressurized and ready to go.  To that, add the fact that I had just purchased it, for a considerable sum, from a local bicycle shop.  Why would there be anything wrong?  As soon as I got the bicycle home and unloaded from the Ranger, I swung my leg over the top tube, intending only a short hop up and down the front street. I was going to go slow.  Easing the bicycle forward with my ground foot, I pushed down on the right pedal and HOP the bicycle did...

The rear axle quick release did just that - released.  The rear wheel popped out of the drops the second pressure was applied to the drive train.  The absence of the rear wheel lightened the rear of the bicycle so much and so suddenly that the back end of the bike flew up and over, dumping me on my right shoulder.  Speed at the moment the mishap occurred was approximately one mph.  My shoulder hurt for a long time after that embarrassing crash.  The lesson - always check the other guy's work, if it is your safety on the line.  And take that philosophy a step further, check your work before each ride - there and back.

Actually, in my excitement when I get a new old bicycle, I do forget this important "check it over carefully" rule from time to time.  My Supercycle three wheeler reminded me of the need to do so, but that is yet another story.  And one that I wish I had on video tape.

Once I had finished rubbing my sore shoulder, I took the Olmo into the Old Shed and checked it over the way I should have in the first place.  Brakes were adjusted.  Quick releases set to my liking.  Handlebars and steering stem checked to ensure that they too were not loose.  Saddle height set roughly to my preference and away I went.  The Olmo showed great promise and I decided to rebuild the bicycle - top to bottom.

NEXT - BUILDING THE FIRST OLMO GP

 

 

 

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