Boy Oh Boy - does this method work!  With-in minutes of arriving home from delivering my very first set of home made Flyers, a call came in about this seventies or eighties something CCM Seville.  Though it was pretty cold out that day, I jumped into my pick-up and zoomed over the address indicated by the caller.  Sure enough, there sat the old road bike and the fellow selling it was very happy to get the twenty dollars I offered.

In the part of Canada where I live, winter is extremely harsh and lasts a long time.  It is very difficult to find bicycles in the winter.  There are no Yard Sales.  People do not offer bicycles for sale in the newspaper’s classified section when there is two feet of snow on the ground.  Laneways are generally impassable until the Spring thaw arrives.  The point?  Vintage road bicycles have been difficult to find when winter conditions prevail – until now.

Because I can’t ride much in the winter, I need to find alternate forms of exercise.  Simply walking and/or jogging is a wonderful way to exercise but I hate doing both.  Actually, walking is not all that bad and one winter I tried coupling my walking exercise with my bike hunting endeavours.  I took the Bulletin Board Ad, modified it to become a Flyer, and started delivering door to door.

The Flyer is nothing special in the artsy department.  The information contained is very specific, indicating what is wanted (an old "Ten Speed"), a picture to save a thousand words, my name and a number to call.  This is all printed on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, folded in half and dropped in a mail box.  It is as simple as that!

Without a word of a lie, two hours after returning home from delivering my first one hundred Flyers, I hade two vintage road bicycle calls.  Both bicycles were located with-in three blocks of my house.  The first call  netted me the late seventies CCM Seville.  The second call was waiting for me when I brought the Seville home.  Caller Two, offered a very clean Sekine SHC-270 with a very nice Brooks B15 saddle.  Ten dollars was all it took to bring them both home.  I should add that I had need of the Brooks B15 and removed it from the Sekine that very day.  The saddle was mounted on my own Sekine SHT - 270, but was subsequently found to be a bit wide and very uncomfortable, for my fit.

Sometimes, calls will come in weeks or even months later.  Three or more months after delivering a set of Flyers a call came in.  A woman's voice asked if I was still looking for an old bike and suggested that she had a "superlative" bicycle.  The word superlative caught my attention, to say the least, and I zipped over to the caller's house.  There, leaning against the brick wall was something that I had not seen before, but what was it?  Campagnolo Record brakes were quick to attract my attention, followed immediately by the down tube decal - MONDIA.

The bicycle, acquired three months or so after delivering the flyer, proved to be a very nice, though somewhat cosmetically challenged mid seventies Super Mondia Special.  She had found my Flyer in her mailbox in mid March and waited until June to call me.

The lady offering the bicycle asked for $50.00, rejected my $25.00 offer but finally and a bit reluctantly agreed to sell me the Super Mondia for $40.00.  I got a great deal!  Since my first success, I have delivered many more Flyers.  Generally, I can expect to find two bicycles for every one hundred Flyers delivered.  Needless to say, not every call will result in actually acquiring  a vintage bicycle.  Most bicycles offered will not be to your liking and you will pass.  One or two, sooner or later, will capture your fancy.  And your quest to find a decent old road bicycle will come to an end.  Unless of course an addiction has set in and you get more calls, thanks to your Flyer delivery efforts.

Why does the Flyer thing work so well when Bulletin Board  and Classified Wanted ads don’t?  To me it is simply by being simple.

Your interest is made know in an environment that is conducive to immediate action.  Nothing for your target bicycle owner to try to remember later, as is the case with the Bulletin Advertisement.  No little piece of paper to loose.  No interruption of busy routines.  The telephone is handy to make the call.  Everything makes it easy, for the person who has an old bicycle, to act on the Flyer's request.

Of all the methods I use to find old bicycles, the Flyer method works the best and I use it frequently during the winter months.  I am collecting about six quality bicycles a month through the Flyer method and several have been really worth while.  I should add that I don't spend much time using the Flyer method in the nice weather months.  There are other ways to find vintage road bikes then and most are a lot more fun than delivering something to someone's house in sub-zero temperatures.

An early eighties Gardin TNT, with a full and matched Campagnolo component grouppo, is another great example of a Flyer produce bicycle.  Believe it or not, the Gardin had rested in storage for over twenty years less than a quarter of a mile from my summer cottage.  Had I not delivered my homemade  Flyer, that old road bicycle would still be sitting in its forgotten place.  Or worse yet, feeding bulldozers at the Dump!

What is really unusual about this situation is that I knew the fellow with the Gardin and he was aware of my interest in purchasing old "Ten Speeds".  He just never put two and two together until my Flyer helped him to focus his interest at a time that was perfectly convenient for him.  I might also add that he suggested two other people who had old "Ten Speeds" stored away.  And how did I learn about these others?

Once I had purchased the Gardin, I asked the seller if he knew of any other bicycles that might be for sale.  It is important to conclude each purchase/acquisition by asking if the seller if he or she might know of any other bikes that might be available.  Going to the next level, so to speak.

And going to the next level brings up an incredibly important Search Technique that you can use just about all the time.  Word of Mouth is a powerful means for finding just about anything you want, including vintage road bicycles.