Treasure hunt begins

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Owen County man sells bargain bike that drew national attention during last 127 Yard Sale

By Molly Haines

Each August, thousands of dedicated bargain hunters in search of a treasure make their way through the strip of U.S. Route 127 that winds through Owen County.
For four days, despite the high temperatures, they park on the side of the road and begin digging. Antique glassware, linens, records, jewelry, farm equipment — you name it and they’ll buy it.
Most Owen countians are no stranger to the 127 Yard Sale, including Greg Estes, who found the treasure of a lifetime right in his hometown during last year’s sale.
Despite its two flat tires and what appeared to be broken pedals, Estes purchased what he said looked like “an expensive sports bike” for $5 at a Roland Avenue sale.
It turns out, the pedals weren’t broken, but instead were custom-built and cost about $500.
Following a little research, Estes soon learned that the pedals weren’t the only thing expensive about the bike.
The bike had originally belonged to former Tour de France champion Floyd Landis and was custom built for Landis by Cyco-Path Bikes in Temecula, Calif. The bike was estimated to be worth from $3,000-$6,000.
Estes said he sold the bike about a month after the 127 Sale for $2,000.
“I had it on eBay,” Estes said. “A guy from Boone County met me at Glencoe and gave me the money for it. He said he rode trails a lot and wanted to ride and use the bike for personal use.”
Despite the national headlines the bike and Estes attracted, he said he was never contacted by Landis or any of his representatives.
“There wasn’t anyone interested in it as far as that goes,” Estes said. “I thought Landis would want it back, but he never did contact me and still hasn’t.”
The bike is just an example of one of many treasures that are often found strewn about the stretch of “the world’s longest yard sale,” which currently runs from Hudson, Mich. to Gadsden, Ala. for a total of 675 miles.
Although the sale doesn’t officially begin until Thursday, by Monday morning, yard sales were already beginning to pop up throughout Owen County.
“You just don’t know when you’re gonna find a bargain,” Estes said. “And you definitely never know what you’re going to find.”
The 127 Corridor Sale officially begins Thursday and will last through Sunday.