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March 23, 2005

Homeless Bikes

Today while running my eyes were drawn to something yellow, way down a steep hill in the woods. It looked kind of like a bike so I decided to take a little detour and run down there to check it out.
When I got there I found two old bike frames with a few wheels and tires laying around, off the bikes. The chains were rusted from being out all winter and one of the seats was laying upside down on the leaves with water collecting inside. Just over a little bit in a small clearing was a little camp, complete with an old back seat from a car for a couch. I'm not sure how that got here, but maybe someone carried it on the top of the shopping cart parked next to the couch. There was an old metal gas can with a funnel on top of it and various other oddball items. It reminded me of some of the hideaways we built as kids to hang out. But we never had 40 or 50 empty alcohol bottles and cigarette butts laying around our camp.
One day last week when I looked over the hillside, I saw a man sitting on the couch eating something. I was tempted to go down there then but I was timing my run and decided to do that another time. He wasn't there today, so I had a good look around.
But since these bikes are obviously abandoned deeper into the woods and rusting out, with no wheels on them, I'm going back next week to salvage them. I'm going to strip off the crank arms, brakes, handlebars, shift levers and derailers and then send the frames to the scrap heap for recycling the metal. That will be the end of these homeless bikes.
But in an interesting twist of fate, next week I'm helping two homeless guys build up two bikes so they have transportation to their new temp jobs.
In the mean time, I'm on day two of riding my Schwinn Suburban 5-speed bike. I find the totally upright postion and fat, spring-loaded seat very comfortable. "That''s a sweet ride," one guy told me today.

Posted by carl1236 at March 23, 2005 11:54 PM | Bicycles