Yesterday I rescued two bikes… actually I adopted two bikes that were rescued by someone else.
I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw a very interesting post. It was from Mike. The post read
Its that time of the year.. Freeing up some bike rack spots.. #donate #freebikes
Along with a photo of a bunch of cruisers. Most of it looking like old Huffys and Electras.
Just what I need.
The last time Mom came to visit, October of last year, she fell in love with a Townie I had. We rode bikes along the canal everyday and did most of our errands by bike. She fell in love with that bike, the canals and the fall weather.
She wants to come back to visit soon, and she has mentioned that bike a couple of times… problem is I sold the bike shortly after she left, and I still haven’t had the heart to tell her. I didn’t have much use for the Townie so I posted it on Craigslist for $100 more than I had paid for it, just to see if anyone would go for it… and they did. Bye bye Townie!
But lately I’ve been feeling the guilt… I want to have a cruiser here for her when she gets back…
One of these should work fine for Mom. We keep our trips short, 5 miles at the most. But they are free… Why?? I don’t get it. Mike gives us the address and we are on our way.
The address takes us to student housing in Tempe, where Mike works. It seems a lot of ASU students just leave behind a bunch of things when moving out: electronics, kitchen appliances and… bikes. After five to eight months locked to a bike rack, Mike and co. cut them free and they are donated.
Obviously, the guys cutting the locks get first dibs. Then a couple of randos, like me. The majority are donated to organizations that can use the bikes.
They are dusty, some rusty, flat tires, fried brakes and are mostly shit Walmart bikes… but there are a couple that stand out. A good looking fixie was called for by Mike and a white cruiser was going to be a gift for a friend who had an identical one stolen from her home in Tempe a couple of months ago.
I spot a Vista cruiser that looks brand new. It just doesn’t look like Mom… but it’s brand new. Then I see a Schwinn. I knew right away it was not vintage but it looks pretty cute. This one looks like Mom… but it needs a little TLC. The tires have a couple of rough spots, the chain is rusted and the back brake is not well. What to do? What to do?
It’s hot af and you can tell Mike is ready to get back to cutting locks… not be our personal guide to picking a free bicycle for the rest of the afternoon. “Take them both!” he says.
Fuck yeah I got two bikes! The Vista bike retails for about $250 brand new, and the Schwinn is actually a Target Schwinn, $199 new in stores. Lame. I mean I knew it was not vintage but I guess I was kind of hoping it would at least be late 80’s… not Schwinn for Target.
I know Mom will like the Schwinn. It has a nice geometry and it’s pretty like the Townie. I will probably pass it on after she leaves though.
The other one I’m keeping. I will have fun with that bike. I think I’m going to cover it completely with stickers. Best part is that it was left with a nice Wald front basket! The basket is definitely a keeper!
Now I have a bike for Mom and a bike for me… and they were both free!
By the end of the day I see a new post by Mike:
Final count of bikes I cut today was 39. With like 50 more to go. But only after I buy a new grinder wheel.