Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Unstealing bikes: Commitment fulfilled

Here's a long-overdue update to my "unstealing" project.

Mid-February: Brian donates a beater bike. (Thanks, Brian!) It has a nice enough lugged frame, but the bike is a wet-braking deathtrap with steel 26 x 1 3/8 rims and long-reach, stamped-steel brake calipers.

Early March: Patrick rescues an abandoned early 90s Hard Rock from death by rust in an empty lot and turns it over to me. It's perfect for Nellyda, but it's got a ton of BTA stickers.

Mid-March: I replace the Hard Rock's rust-locked headset, tune it up, and put the word out to the BTA that I likely have one of theirs.

Late March: Ann reads about her Hard Rock in the BTA email newsletter, contacts me, and is happily reunited. Too bad for Nellyda, though.

Early April: I acquire a coaster-brake hub and use it, a drop bar and old Pivo stem, a narrow saddle, and some miscellaneous parts to rebuild Brian's donated beater as a presentable, relatively safe faux fixie. This becomes bike #4, for Nellyda. When she takes delivery she gives me not only some random, decent parts but also a jar of peach jam (Yum!) and the great painting you see pictured here. What nice people in this town!

The delivery of bike #4 fulfills my January commitment. (Actually, counting Ann's, I delivered five.) Maybe now I can get back to my original vision, which is to release one finished bike at a time by locking it up in a popular spot with a combo lock whose combination I would email to applicants who qualify.

The next release likely will be for a six-foot or taller rider. I have a nice old (big) Rockhopper frame (still another from the Clown House) and some parts on hand (from Patrick, Brian, Nellyda, et al), but I'm lacking wheels and a fork that fits. If you have a mountain-bike fork for a tall frame (in the old 1-inch steer tube diameter) and/or some functional but homely wheels or bare rims that are just cluttering up your garage, I'd love to take them off your hands.