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How Far Did You Go (to pick up your 'grail bike')?

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How Far Did You Go (to pick up your 'grail bike')?

Old 05-12-21, 10:40 PM
  #1  
Roger M 
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How Far Did You Go (to pick up your 'grail bike')?

The thread posted today about the mystery bike in SF sounds very familiar to me. Several people are interested in buying it, but the one that is seriously trying to get it done is Several states away. I have purchased a couple of bicycles out of state, and the owner(builder even) was nice enough to pack and ship those bikes. However, not too many sellers want to go through the hoops of shipping a bike.

I bought a bike recently that was a PSA on a Google group. The seller wasn't keen on shipping, but eventually he checked with a couple of local bike shops.

They both quoted very high fees just to box it up(not including shipping). I did the math, and determined that I could drive 1,575 miles and come out better, even spending one night at a cheap hotel.

Long story short, we(family) made a road trip out of it over spring break. I ended up with a very nice bike, and my family spent five days in Northern California and the Oregon coast.

So, how far did you travel to get that 'end all' bicycle?

Photos for attention

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Old 05-13-21, 04:44 AM
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In 2018, I drove from Southern Maryland to Vineland NJ for a Legnano Roma. I thought it was worth it.
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Old 05-13-21, 05:13 AM
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Not as long a trip as yours but I did 150 miles round trip with a broken arm in a brace to get my Colnago. It was on my bucket list mostly because of the info learned on BF. Slightly too small but I make do.
As purchased:
P7070974 on Flickr

Most current pic
P1040500 on Flickr

I have traveled more for less.
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Old 05-13-21, 05:41 AM
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I drove down to some place in Illinois for my Trek 400 Elance. I had a fever and was in a rented car. It was only like 106 miles, but it felt like 6 days driving being all sick and stuff.

(There are 106 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.)

I was also deathly sick when I drove like 60 miles to pick up my Trek 620.
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Old 05-13-21, 05:54 AM
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I don't really have a "grail" bike (although a strong case could be made for an Ebisu), but I have made numerous trips to Portland to purchase bikes, which is only a 90 mile round trip. That's where I got my PX10 last week.
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Old 05-13-21, 06:02 AM
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I did a 600 mile RT to pick up a lowly 1988 Schwinn Voyageur. Don't ask me why... I just needed a road trip.
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Old 05-13-21, 07:30 AM
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With out over sharing, I will say that there is a place 463 miles from my home, where I have seen the grails gleam from afar more than once. I haven't made the pilgrimage yet.....
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Old 05-13-21, 07:55 AM
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I drove about 110 mi to Oshkosh Wi for my Trek TX900, which is about as far as I would go. Beyond that easier to just pay for shipping.
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Old 05-13-21, 08:42 AM
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300 miles round trip for a $150 3Rensho that set on marketplace for a month. Horrible pics and no description. Ended up being a really nice frame with full 7400 group. Well worth it.
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Old 05-13-21, 08:46 AM
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I hate roadtripping, so I doubt I've driven more than 80m for any of my bikes. I did drive ~200m to locally pickup my racquet stringing machine. Bikes are easy to ship compared to one of those.
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Old 05-13-21, 08:52 AM
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It looks like @Roger M and I did similar trips in opposite directions.
I drove 1,300 miles round trip between Lagunitas, California and Hillsboro, Oregon to buy this tandem. As you can see from the photo it was too small for me and just right for my wife.
It now resides in the Marin Museum of Bicycling.



Brent
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Old 05-14-21, 10:02 AM
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I've imported bikes from Japan and France many times before. Currently, I have four bikes waiting in a Tokyo warehouse. Air shipping is really expensive right now so I've been looking into sea shipping to reduce cost. It's been a nightmare to figure out. Two of the bikes are Zunows and one is a rare San Rensho.

When I found my grail Look KG 196, it was on French eBay and the seller was unwilling to ship to the USA. He was located in a small town in France, and had recently broken his arm, so he couldn't pack the bike for shipping. I paid for his local bike shop to box it up, and then for UPS to come pick it up from the shop and ship to the USA. That whole process cost around $1000, not including the price of the bike.

Domestically, I drove from Brooklyn to south New Jersey once to pick up a Surly Long Haul trucker, and another time I drove to the Poconos for a stash of vintage bikes. But neither of those were "grails".
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Old 05-14-21, 10:06 AM
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A hour each way.
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Old 05-14-21, 11:30 AM
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I've wanted an older Carlton built Raleigh for years but never found the right one. I stopped after work a couple weeks ago to pick up a really bad looking $20 parts bike. It was right on the way so no extra driving. I found out after I got it home it was a mid-60's Raleigh Carlton under the rattle can repaint and my size. So technically, I went zero miles for mine. Not much to look at right now but give me some time.........

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Old 05-14-21, 11:46 AM
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400 miles and across an international boarder...
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Old 05-14-21, 11:52 AM
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I don't have a "grail bike", but I did go out on a limb once, and had a bike shipped from Canada to Holland. Ended up with a $320 bill for a $65 bike.

But seeing mrs non-fixie being singled-out with it on the podium at the Retroronde made it all worth it:



I am still glad I did that.
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Old 05-14-21, 01:36 PM
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I'm not sure I even accept the premise of a "grail bike" in the singular sense, but the two bikes I've driven the furthest for probably qualify by most common usage (except that there are two of them).

The first was my 1973 De Rosa, for which I took a day off from work with no notice and drove 400 miles round trip to pick up in Hermiston, Oregon. (East coast people may be scratching their heads, thinking, "You didn't even leave the state?") Some forum members may remember this story as the Great Italian Bike Cornucopia of 2017 (or the Hermiston Heist, depending on who you ask) as I also picked up a Casati Monza and a Cinelli Supercoursa which I had agreed to facilitate for other BF members, plus a small mountain of parts and tools. It's almost unimaginable looking at this De Rosa, but I think it's possible I may have only gotten the third best bike in that deal.



My other grail bike trip also involved three bikes, coincidentally. This was a trip to Monroe, Washington, also about 400 miles round trip. The centerpiece for me was a 1974 Masi Gran Criterium. I also picked up an Alex Singer for a guy in Portland, and since I was driving up there anyway, I grabbed a Performance Superbe in Seattle as I was passing through. In this case, you might think the Singer would be the best bike of the lot, but I think the Masi is actually a bit nicer.




So, I guess the moral of the story is that I am willing to drive a long way for a bike, but I'm going to get a few other bikes on the trip too.
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Old 05-14-21, 05:39 PM
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Early on in my tenure here, I jumped on a Cinelli SC frame that was in Sacramento, tried to wind it up to pick up at NAHBS that year.

So went to the show, reached out to the seller several times with no reply, it was not confirmed when I left PDX.

Seller had a family emergency so was unable to respond to or meet me.

The frame pickup was a swing and a miss but had a great time at the show. 1,156 mi. round trip.

The seller ended up sweetening the deal quite a bit, not sure if that was why.

On another related note, around the same time the venerable obrentharris delivered to my door the Moto Team Champion frame from the bay area, gotta love this forum.

I have gotten a frame from Austrailia, Washington DC and many points in between as many here have, glad I didn't have to pick those up.
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