There is a story here. Skip it if you just want the pics. I saw this badly posted ad on Craigslist and almost didn't look at it, but then I thought, "ah why not see what it is". It was posted as "peugeot 15speed racing bike" which I knew wasn't right. The only description read "very nice road twice attached tire pump and foot holders." So I looked at the horrible photos and could see immediately the back of the Ideale saddle. So that was worth checking in to. And then I could barely make out what looked like a Super Champion sticker on the wheel. It could be Mavic... either way, it's not chromed steel. And its vintage. And the black lugs with the spear points... clearly not Aztec lugs, so higher end frame. This might really be something! I could tell it was too small for me, but you gotta check these things out, you know. It's kind of far from me (40 mins drive) but who knows?
I called the number and got a kid on the phone. He was probably 12 or 13. I asked if the bike pictured was his bike, he said it was his grandma's bike but he was selling it--and yes the photos were of the bike itself (not like Pastor Bob's fraudulent person). I asked if he could give me some more details and he said he didn't know anything else but could tell me about it if I had questions. I asked if the rear triangle was chrome. "The what?" "Sorry, is the back of the bike frame chromed back by the rear wheel?" He wrote that down. I asked what it said on the back of the seat. And what was labeled on the sticker on the wheel. He said "Call me back in 30 minutes". So I did. Sure enough... chromed rear triangle. "The seat says EYE-dale or something and the wheel says Super Champion." So I say "Can I come and look at it right now?" He checks with his dad and they agree to meet me in 1 hour at the grandmother's place up in the hills in Washington.
I drive up there. Traffic is bad. They had told me they had to leave about 30 mins after I planned to arrive. But with traffic, and then getting lost twice I was barely there 5 mins before they had to leave. I get there and no one is around at first. I see the bike sitting out by an RV under a barn roof. I call out... nobody around. So I start to go up to the house when the dad shows up. He says, "I'm sorry the bike is already sold. We didn't know my mom already sold it. It's right there, you see you don't want it anyway. The tires are bad and the tape is coming off. It's not a very nice bike. I don't know maybe she'd sell it to you." So that was a bad start.
"So wait a minute, I spent about $15 getting up here, and an hour and a half in the car." Just as I'm saying that, this unpleasant older lady comes out of the house. "It's sold, I got a guy coming up from Eugene on Friday to look at it. I got some other guy wants to come from Salem." So the dad says, "Well, why don't you look at it, if you don't want it then it doesn't matter anyway." I already knew what it was from first sight. So I look it over. It hasn't been ridden in a long time but it isn't rusty and hasn't been outside. I say, "well I do want it. I have the cash right here." So the nasty old lady says in her 50 years of smoking voice, "How much is it because I could have sold this bike for $200 if I wanted." Which is true, but she didn't ask that for it. So I say, "$125 just like that ad said and Jesse (the kid) said on the phone." She hemms and haws over it for awhile. I'm feeling kind of bad because I wouldn't want to be the guy coming up from Eugene. He made arrangements and now it'll be sold out from under him if she accepts. That would be a bummer. I would be mad if it were me. But then, I did drop everything and drive right up there immediately, spent money, and time, and didn't wan to go home empty handed. Finally she says, "Alright, give me the money." So I count it out in front of her and then she proceeds to count it again, like I had played some slight of hand trick. She scrutinizes the $5 bill. "Say, you don't want those other bikes do you?" She points at a nasty old kids' mountain bike and a rusty department store 10 speed. "No thanks, I only have one bike rack." I beat a hasty retreat.
More in next posting.