November 20, 2005
Can you fix my bike, for free?
This morning I spent some time at the coffee shop reading the paper and talking to some people I've met there before. There is this one man who comes in regularly but I haven't been around there much in the past few months so we haven't talked in a while. The last time we talked I was seriously training on my bike and would stop by the coffee shop after my rides. He was looking for a bike then, but I wasn't really involved in the shop much at that time. Today he told me he got one for free because he was helping someone move and they were going to throw it out. He asked them if he could have it and they said, "Sure!" Then he told me that the back wheel was off and the back part of the frame was bent. hmmm. Maybe free is not so good. But it's a dumpster bike and he rescued it from the heap. Then he asked me if I could fix it. I said yes. Then he asked if I could fix it for free. I know this man is on a limited budget and has limited means, so I took a deep breath and then said, "yes." But then I added that it would have to be after Thanksgiving. So I have a free repair to do at the end of the week. He said he was inspired by me riding my bike so he wanted to use his to run short errands and not use his pickup truck so much. His truck is an old rust-bucket that probably doesn't get too great of mpg. So, anyway, I'm happy to try to fix his bike, but if the frame is bent, I'll have to help him pick out a different bike. Maybe he could help me reorganize the shop (or continue what I started a few months ago) to earn a bike.
On other bike news. my dumpster bike is sitting idle right now. I bought an old brown Schwinn Suburban to replace the one that was stolen from me a while ago. I love that bike! It's a such a smooth riding, comfort commuter bike, the cadilac of street machines. It's long and tall and has full fenders, 10 speeds, rack AND a generator light and taillight set! This one is a 1973 instead of a 1971 like my old one. So I'll use that bike for commuting when there is no bad snow on the ground, otherwise my dumpster bike is getting 27" knobby tires. That's a Schwinn Continental. I went out and bought new bulbs for it today since last night they both burned out. I rode over to Minneapolis to Spokes Pizza to deliver a couple of parts to someone there and about a mile-into my ride, the taillight burnt out. Then a block later the headlight went out. Good thing I had my backup systems with me. I found the bulbs at my local Ace Hardware, so I was happy to be able to give them some business.
Now I'm set. But I'm accumulating too many bikes. It's so easy to do though! Especially since they are such a convenient and useful mode of transportation.
Anyway, I'm happy to help my acquaintance from the coffee shop get going on a bike. There is no reason he can't be out riding that two blocks to the store instead of firing up that gas burner.