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April 22, 2005

“Even we have our standards!”

What is an abandoned girl’s Murray 3-Speed Bike worth? Today while running I saw another abandoned bike! I found out from another guy later that it had been there for a few weeks. It’s been a few weeks since I ran by there so I didn’t notice it until today. I decided to pick it up and take it back to the bike depot to put it back into use or recycle. So I ran, wheeling the bike along on my right side, holding onto the handlebar. The tires were flat but it coasted ok with no weight on it.
When I got to the Sibley Bike Depot, they all looked at me like I was crazy. Dave looked at it and said it was junk, to scrap it. He might know something about the value of bikes, and what people would pay for them. But this bike seemed to be in pretty good shape other than two flat tires and it seemed to be a shame to scrap something that was working. They didn’t really want it so I made a snap decision to clean it up myself and find a rider for it. Is there any reason this bike shouldn’t be out on the road being ridden? So I pumped up the tires, they even held air! I then rode this bike back to work from the bike shop and it was a smooth ride. It needed a little adjustment on the brakes to make them grab properly, but that only took a few seconds.
Old steel can get rusty if neglected. Then we want to throw it away for a newer model. People can be neglected and devalued and then we want to discard them also for newer, better models. It would be a shame to scrap something that is working even if some people determine there is no value in them.

Posted by carl1236 at April 22, 2005 5:20 PM | Love your Neighbor


Guess they already have those 40 bikes out to Arts in the Parks? Seems weird they would turn down a bike that needed so very little work to become functional! Maybe they were having an off day.

Then again, I know some department-store bikes are actually considered dangerous even brand new - maybe this one fits that bill?

Thinking of you riding a girls' bike around reminds me of the time I saw a man pull away from the library on a total girls' bike that was way too small for him. Boy, that made the cogs upstairs turn for a whlie trying to figure out WTF!


Posted by: nathan at April 25, 2005 1:18 PM

Haha, yes I did ride that bike back to work and it is too small for me. But it's only a couple of blocks.
I realized why both tires had flats. They had holes in the rubber on the side of the valve stem because they were installed at an angle. I've found these types of holes can't even be patched so the tubes were shot.
Today after work I put two new 24x1-3/8" tubes in. When I pulled the old tubes out I saw the problem: Both tubes were installed with the tube overlapping itself, twisted near the stem so that the stem was forced to go out at an angle. There were several cuts along the side of each stem. And with this kind of cut, the air doesn't always leak out immediately. By morning after I filled them, they were both flat.
A note for anyone who owns a bicycle: Learning the proper way to install a new innertube can save you a lot of headaches in the future and make riding bikes more pleasurable.
As soon as I clean that bike up I think I will set it by a busy bus stop and put a "Free" sign on it.

Posted by: John at April 25, 2005 7:44 PM

Now that's a good idea!

Posted by: nathan at April 26, 2005 2:05 PM

My friend Dan just told me that his son did that and it took 3 days for someone to take the bike! That's interesting. Maybe it was the location? I'll find a really busy bus stop.

Posted by: John at April 26, 2005 3:38 PM