MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"  

OLD SHED - INTRO

THE WORKSHOPS

TO KEEP OR NOT TO KEEP

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT DID I DECIDE TO KEEP?

Deciding what to keep was a very difficult thing to do and I am not sure that the process is complete yet.  I did have some truly beautiful bikes that had come my way over the years, the most impressive of which had to be the Carlton Professional.  But there were others that I found to be truly impressive steeds also.  My eighties something French Vitus 979, of my Pinarello Trevisio, not to mention an assortment of Celeste green Bianchi road bikes that I all but drooled over.  But I did have to let something go and introduce focus into my collection.  I will say right at the beginning of this exercise that the only bicycle I truly regret parting with was my 1971 Atala Record 101 Professional.  That old Italian mount was the perfect bicycle for me.  Perfect fit!  Perfect color!  Perfect ride!  But I chose to let it go during a time of great change and confusion.

The time of confusion is associated with being forced into retirement four years before I was prepared to go.  The forced situation dramatically damaged my pension. leaving me with a need to earn money and I had no intention of returning to the workplace unless it was under my conditions of my own choosing.  With that in mind, I stepped my trading in vintage road bicycles up a notch.  I also chose to downsize my holdings without actually letting any of my property go right away.  Many things had to be sold to accommodate the reduced storage opportunities that came with the downsizing effort.  And some bikes were to be caught up in that same effort.  Again, the problem reared its head - what to let go, what to keep and why.

What did I decide to keep and why?  Since I am a Canadian and some really nice vintage road bicycles have been of Canadian make, I decided to focus my collection on top of the line and special issue Canadian made vintage road bicycles that were my size (54cm - 56cm seat tubes center to center).  At the time I made that decision, I had three of these wonderful mounts - a 1975 Sekine SHT-270, a 198? Cambio Rino 2000 and a mid eighties Miele Limited Edition.  There were a few lesser Canadian mounts in The Old Shed, at the time but nothing special enough to warrant keeping over some of the incredible European, British and Asian steeds that I decided to let go.

I am happy that I decided to go with bicycles manufactured in Canada.  First, there is no information on the web that really focuses on the Canadian made vintage road bicycle that I am aware of.  Second, at the time I made the decision I had no idea of how many truly great Canadian bikes had been made over the years.  And third, these old and relatively unknown brands were of minimal interest to the rest of the vintage road bicycle collecting world and, because of that, the bicycles were relatively inexpensive to acquire.  That has since changed.

Today my collection of high end or limited edition Canadian made vintage road bicycles includes a total of fourteen bicycles ranging in vintage from the mid fifties to the mid eighties.  The favourite rider is my early eighties Marinoni Special.  The ride that bike offers is stunning and I compare the ride to all other top of the line bikes I have owned, be they of Canadian, American, British, Italian, French, Swiss or Asian origin.  Only two other bicycles have ever come close to offering the quality ride presented by the "Special".  My 1971 Carlton Professional and my Canadian Miele LTD both offered similar magical feel that is all but impossible to describe to another person.  Suffice it to say that a magical ride is one that is invisible.  The ride quality is so good that the rider forgets to think about it.

But focusing on collecting Canadian made vintage road bicycles is presenting problems of its own.  As mentioned, I was unaware of how many decent old road bicycles had come from the all but unheard of shops of Canadian bike builders.  Though I have several brands represented in my own collection, there are several more that need to be included.  Mariposa, Cyclops, Proctor and those that do not come immediately to mind.  And others that I am sure I have not heard of yet.  And some that are not truly vintage buy very desirable none the less, such as Cervello.

I want a high end Cervello with all of the neat user friendly features that I can get.  Perhaps not a good idea since such a bicycle might well destroy some of my appreciation for the vintage mounts that do not offer much, by comparison, in the "user friendly" category.  The long and short of all of this is that the collection is, once again, becoming unmanageable.  The past two months has seen four top of the line Canadian bikes come my way and all were added to the collection.  Too many bikes and to make matters worse, there are some non-Canadian bikes that I really want to find and add to my collection, as well.

And the first of these has already been acquired, a 1963 Peugeot PX10 that came to me in very rough condition.  Bent frame, cosmetically challenged and missing just about every original component one could imagine should have suggested that I pass on building the bike.  But I didn't!  At the time of this writing, the PX10 frame set sits beside me wearing its second coat of brushed on white paint.  One more coat is yet to be applied before I begin painting the Nervex Pro lugs jet black.  A set of decals are now winging their way to me from Australia and I expect they will arrive within a few days.  Most of the needed components, many of which are period correct, have been found and sit is a Brooks shoe box waiting to be cleaned and hand polished.  The bicycle has already been assembled, prior to painting, and test ridden in preparation for this complete rebuild and Street Restoration.  And the PX10 will be the fifteenth bicycle in my humble collection. 

And I have decided to include at least one top of the line bicycle from each of the major countries that manufactured old road bikes.  For some reason, I have lusted after a PX10 for some time and it will represent France.  I want a really nice Italian Bianchi and it must be Celeste green in color.  I want a Raleigh "International" from the early seventies.  I think that I want a Cinelli.  I want another Miyata 1000 and do regret letting the one I had go.  I told you the collection was getting out of hand!  And I am not even including an assortment of Canadian made roadsters that seem to have found refuge in The Old Shed.

NEXT - WHO KNOWS?

 

 

 

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