Saturday, March 07, 2009

Rescued Bike


Last year, all winter quarter long, there was this lovely old Centurion touring frame locked up outside Condon Hall at the UW, neglected, slowly but surely succumbing to the elements and poachers. First its unsecured front wheel went, then its rear; by March, the brakes and derailer had been lifted as well. I coveted the frame, though, and occasionally fiddled with the combination U-lock around its top tube, thinking I might be able to set it free and rescue it. However, come May or so, somebody—perhaps security—beat me to it and the opportunity was lost.

Earlier this year, I noticed a mid-80s Miyata 720 undergoing a similar fate near Odegaard Library. On New Year’s Day, I scored the front and rear derailers, the cranks and brakes having already been snatched. The frame itself disappeared about two weeks ago, along with the bike rack onto which it had been locked.

Some six weeks back, near Red Square I came across this beautiful Trek 420L mixte that apparently had been abandoned to the elements, as well; its back wheel was gone; its seat torn apart, but other than that it looked pretty good. Occasionally, I would check on it to see if anything about it had changed; nada.

Two weeks ago on a Tuesday night, I found it unlocked and fallen on the grass. I started carrying it home, but then felt like that was too much like stealing, so I locked it up and put a note on it that I would come back for it were it really abandoned. A week passed with no response, so I took my trailer over last Sunday and brought it home.

A new wheel from Bikeworks, upright handlebars, thumbshifters, and fresh cables and housing, then fenders, a basket, and flashy grips; she’s a beauty and rides like a dream.

I’ll keep her around a while, for Jen and Mimi; all she really needs now is a sprung Brooks saddle.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Nova said...

This is the EXACT bike that I ride! We rode down the coast to SF last summer, and have taken several trips to the San Juans. I'm so excited to see all the places we go this summer. Unfortunately, I wrecked pretty badly at one point and bent the frame, so eventually top/downtubes will fatigue and she will die. This bike is a dream to ride--it's well-made and the lines are beautiful. I hope your ladies enjoy riding it as much as I have enjoyed Mariela the Mixte, she is a treasure. But! If you ever decide to sell this bike--please DO let me know :)

Happy riding, Professor Dave!
-Nova

5:47 PM  
Blogger Arnica Montana said...

oh, you normal sized people. who i envy for being able to utilize found bikes and cheap clothes at goodwill.

I really do wish i as 5 inches shorter so i wouldnt have to have so much custom crap. i am too poor for anything custom.

9:38 AM  
Blogger James said...

I just rescued one of these they were made for one year 1984
40140XXXX serial number

here is mine

http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/4474/1000975is.jpg

5:51 PM  

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