DAILY EXERCISE: Sometimes when we’re stressed we need a ‘feelgood’ story. I must apologise in advance that this isn’t an exciting story of derring do. I didn’t ride 100 miles on a penny farthing, or build an incredible machine from a pile of old steel, or some other remarkable feat. My daily exercise is much more mundane. It involves finding unusual vintage bicycles and nabbing them before someone else does.
MY SECRET: I’ve had some interesting items in my saved list on the liveauctioneers website over the past few months. I’ve already shared quite few of them. But I kept this one to myself. Normally it’s too much hassle and expense to get bikes shipped from the USA, but in this case I had a friend who lives nearby who said he’d take care of it if I won.
I FORGOT: Then the day arrived at last. With the time difference, US auctions don’t start here until late afternoon or evening. I was primed after my email reminder in the morning, but by evening I’d totally forgotten about it. Alarm bells suddenly went off in my head around 6-45pm. I ran to the computer. Between kicking myself for forgetting, nervously I checked, and there were only minutes to go. Phew, I was in time.
ADRENALINE: As the bids piled up, my wife and daughter were around me watching the screen. My 10-year-old daughter, under instruction, was pressing the bid button. (She’ll need to take over the family business one day). There’s no finesse with online bidding, you just have to keep hitting the button until it goes too high. Online bidding is also unreliable – sometimes even if you bid the highest amount you do not win. As the magical moment approached we held our breath, she kept pressing ‘bid now’, it reached $1000, and there was a pause waiting for someone else to bid. I crossed my fingers. Adrenaline flowed. Those five seconds seemed like five minutes. But nobody else bid higher …Lot 287 was ours!
FAMILY: Mrs Gene Autry bicycle and junior Gene Autry tricycle are ready and waiting to accept the new boy into the herd. I’ll keep you posted when the Gene Autry family is reunited.
UPDATE February 2019: The Gene Autry boy’s bicycle eventually arrived and is now sitting in my office waiting for a sunny day to be photographed along with the Gene Autry girl’s bike and tricycle. As a footnote, I was surprised when I opened the shipping box: I expected to see a large dismantled bicycle. The auction photos did not show its scale. It was actually in one piece completely assembled …because it’s a small child’s bicycle