So I’m out riding the other day and I notice this huge stack of old bikes beside a shed. I did a little asking around and found out that a friend of mine owns the property. He told me to go ahead and help myself to whatever I wanted.

Now most people wouldn’t have much interest in what the pile had to offer. To make anything in there work would at least take someone with some wrenching skills. Well, I don’t have much, but I have enough! Good thing too because right on top of the pile is a sweet little Motobecane Nomade. This is a french 10 speed from the 70’s folks. Not the most valuable find in the world, but to someone with a desire to own at least one vintage french made bike it was like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

So I toss the bike in the trunk along with a couple of extra wheels that had halfway decent tires on them. I Bring it all home, put it in the garage and go back to work for awhile. Every now and then I go out and just look at it. French steel from the 70’s… it almost makes me forget about how much I miss my first 10 speed, an 85 Schwinn. That poor thing got the hand me down treatment and vanished off into some junkyard somewhere. Truly sad.

Well, after a productive day of work today, I decided it was time to get a little dirty and see what I actually had here. I ripped the good tires off the two extra wheels and put them on the Nomade. Front brakes… nope. Back brakes… well, sort of. Certainly good enough to test ride the bike with. Out on the road I discovered that all 10 speeds work great! The ride of steel is much different than that of my aluminum Mercier. It definitly rides smoother. I can’t believe it. I finally have my 70’s French made steel 10 speed bike. And I didn’t pay a dime for it! Granted it still needs some investment to be tour ready. New cables all the way around would be in order. New brake pads are a must and the handlebar tape needs to be replaced. But other than that, it’s pretty sound. Over the winter I’ll take the whole thing apart and check bearings and the like. Maybe put on a new chain. But come next spring, I’ve got a second road bike! Totally sweet!

So I guess the moral of the story is that one man’s junk is truly another man’s treasure. And you can bet I’ll never ride past a bike that’s been tossed to the trash without stopping to see what’s there. You never know, it could be a real score!