Monday, January 4, 2010

Missed it by THAT much!

Recent experience on Craigslist has taught me to be very skeptical about deals that seem too good to be true.  I've lost count of the number of times I've come across ads with photos of pristine-looking vintage bikes and prices that are unbelievably low, only to find it's a bizarre scam or someone just out to waste everyone's time.

That must have been why I didn't jump in my car and speed to Roseville the moment I saw an ad for a 70's-era Columbia three-speed for... wait for it... $25.

The photos showed a bike that looked new.  I emailed the seller, fully expecting no response or one that would indicate tomfoolery.  Instead, I got a phone numbrer and an invitation to come see the bike.  It was a 30-minute drive, however, and I kept thinking of how furious I'd be to get all the way there and learn no such people/place/bike existed.

Finally, I decided I had to try.  I called the number and was told that someone was on their way to see it.  The seller seemed to be an older gentleman.  The bike was as good as gone ($25!), but The Kid and I got in the car and gave it a try anyway.  When we were five minutes from our destination, the seller called to say the bike was sold...

I need another bike like I need a hole in the head, but man, it would have been fun to buy a mint-condition three-speed for $25.

Next time.


  1. Since I've been reading your blog and others, I've been checking craigslist for something similiar. Your story gives me hope that I'll see a nice vintage 3 speed eventually. I missed one a couple months ago. I called and the seller told me it went within 15 minutes. Thanks for the interesting blog.

  2. @George

    Hang in there! I'm confident there's a mint-condition three speed with your name on it. As for me, I'm excited about having a reason to stop at every yard sale I see this spring... one of them will feature a bike brought up from the basement.

    For what it's worth, I recently picked up a Free Spirit three speed from 1984 -- it lacks the cachet of a Raleigh, but is truly a very solid and respectable sports-style bike. I think the competition for second-tier brands is far lighter and bargains can be had.

    Happy hunting, and thanks for reading the blog!

  3. My pleasure, I've really become a bike blog junkie. I noticed a Hercules 3 speed on the Reno Craigslist today. To bad you are not a little closer.