MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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CANNONDALE 400 - INTRO

FINDING THE CANNONDALE

BUILDING THE CANNONDALE

RIDING THE CANNONDALE

 

BICYCLES OF USA

 

FINDING THE CANNONDALE 400

I am not sure why I believe this bicycle to be a Cannondale 400.  I vaguely recall the original owner, the vice president of a local bicycle club, mentioning the model, to me, but that memory is anything but solid.  Though I am unsure of the model, I will continue to think of it as a 400.

Finding vintage road bicycles is a lot of fun and I have come to really look forward to my Saturday of Yard Sailing.  I plan the route that I intend to ride (or drive) the day before.  I make sure that which ever bicycle I plan to ride is ready to go.  I set out my map, pencil, string and note cards - all important Yard Sale items.  I ensure that I have both folding money, usually a hundred dollars in five tens and twenties, and jingle money also, in case the opportunity to purchase something small comes my way.  And once all of these things are set and ready to go, I do something else until early Saturday morning, when it its time to get in a morning of sprinting from one Yard Sale to another.  By the end of between five and six hours of this kind of riding, I have had a nice workout, spent time riding with a friend and probably managed to purchase a bicycle or two.  In this case, the Cannondale was one of three bicycles found that day.

The Yard Sale that produced the Cannondale was not even advertised, as is often the case.  While riding a planned Yard Sale Loop of the city, I will see a great many Yard Sale signs attached to telephone poles, road sign posts and the like.  As often as not, the intended destination changes immediately so as to take in the newly discovered Yard Sale.  And it was while riding down Huron Street that I noticed a sign indicating that there was also a Yard Sale on Huron Crescent.

My riding buddy and I caught the corner and swooped around the crescent until a cacophony of jumbled cars came into view, announcing the location of the sale.  I dismounted and carefully parked my Miyata 1000 Grand Touring against one of the well matured Manitoba Maple trees, that lined the crescent.  Since the bicycle would always be in view, I did not bother to lock it up.  Not only that, but when I do get involved in a Yard Sale purchase, my riding chum keeps an eye on the bikes.  If he is not present and there is even a chance that the bicycle will be out of my view, I lock it up!  Every time!  Period!  And I advise you to do so also.

As I approached the hub of frenzied activity, I notice a bicycle laying on its side in the middle of a bunch of other "for sale" items.  I approached the bicycle, taking in a host of details as I did so.  The bicycle laying on its side was the Cannondale.  The first thing I noticed was the component grouppo - full Shimano 600 second or later generation.  I noticed also that the bicycle was in very nice condition from a cosmetics point of view.  The paint, though chipped here and there, was still very nice and could be easily touched up even though a touch up was hardly necessary.  The art work, at least what I could see, was also in very good shape.  By the time I knelt down beside the bicycle for a closer look, I knew that I was looking at a pretty good bicycle.

Cannondale workmanship is very good.  I marvelled at the clean welds and smooth appearance of the frame set.  Though the frame is lug less, it was none the less, pretty.  Whoever had hand built this bicycle obviously cared about the kind of work that he or she did.  My hat is off to the builder.

Cannondale saw fit to include a good deal of art work on the bike.  However, the bicycle was also covered with aftermarket stickers, that would need to be removed.  It was the most sticker plastered road bicycle that I have come across, so far.  The guy who owned the bicycle was a weekend racer, president of the local bicycle club and definitely into stickers.  I had removed a sticker or two before and could not imagine how long it would take to detach, what must have been, thirty or more stickers from the delicate paint and art work surface.  There was even a skull and crossbones steadfastly glued to the lovely paint.  I should add that the presence of all the stickers almost caused me to pass on this bike.

Actually, I almost didn't even get a chance to pass.  Another fellow, about my age and grotesquely overweight, had his eye on the bicycle.  My guess is that the big man was probably thinking that with it he could help get rid of some of him.  I shuddered at the thought of the torture that the Cannondale's rear wheel was in danger of experiencing.

The fellow was all but belittling the Yard Sale host, in an effort to haggle down the price of the bicycle.  Though the price did seem a bit high, I also knew that I could make a dollar or two on the bicycle.  I waited for a break in the money crunch argument.  The break was soon to come.

The old haggler said that he would have to think about it, laid the bicycle back down on its side and wandered off to look at other "for sale" items.  The moment the Yard Sailor stepped away, I made the seller a firm offer.  Having heard how much he was willing to sell the bicycle for when talking to the big guy, I simply reduced the asking price by twenty dollars and the seller accepted immediately.  The big guy overheard the result of the transaction and came over to express his concern, indicating that he had looked at the bicycle first.  But the money had already exchanged hands and the bicycle was mine.  I did, however, offer to sell the Cannondale to the big fellow, for double what I had just paid.  For a moment, it began to look like I was about to get a chance to brush up on some of my martial arts and wrestling skills.

But nothing happened.  I tagged the bicycle with my own "Sold Tag" and locked it to the fence with one of the spare cable locks that I bring with me for just such a purpose.  That done, I assured the Yard Sale host that I would be back to pick up the Cannondale before the end of the sale.  My chum and I jumped on our bikes and headed off to the next planned destination.

Less than a mile later, the Miyata's drive chain broke.  I discovered that my Multi Tool was not with me, making chain repair an impossibility.  I realized that I was going to be walking home.  My chum, who doesn't even carry a multi tool, offered to ride the three miles back to his place, grab his car and return for me.  Good plan and that's exactly what happened.  An hour later, we were riding again only this time my Miele LTD was the steed of choice.  Why take the valuable Yard Sale window time to change a tire when you can simply change bikes?

NEXT - BUILDING THE CANNONDALE 400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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