Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor (kistaro) wrote,
Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

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Bicycle, redux

For the first time in about a year, I have a bicycle again. Redmond is a wonderful place to have a bike, so I'm happy about this. I feel like an idiot for not taking steps to correct this sooner, but I'm glad for what I've got.

What I've got is a new bike. It took this year to get around to getting my old bike back from my last apartment community; it was moderately the worse for the wear. It wasn't in good shape when I all but abandoned it, with a broken spoke or two; the year of neglect didn't help it.

They looked at it and stated to order replacement parts, but the local highly-reviewed bike shop (there are many local bike shops, but only one of them is highly-reviewed) called partway through the preliminary tune-up process to warn that they'd have to replace both wheels, the chain, the pedals, the brakes, and the cables, and the entire setup was starting to cost more than the bike was worth. So, because I'd failed to keep proper track of it, it was basically totaled. Rakeela's already was totaled because it had pieces stolen from it (that happened before we moved) and the lock had seized up and we couldn't open it (that also happened before we moved), so she'd gotten a new bicycle previously, and was Quite Satisfied with it. So I bought one like it, and it is remarkable how little effort it requires to propel me at speeds I'm not actually very comfortable with. It's quite nice to be able to get basically anywhere in downtown Redmond in under five minutes, and further afield if I like. The freedom has done even more good for Rakeela.

I mourn my previous bike; despite the expensive habit it picked up of breaking spokes about every three weeks, it had served me well. So I paid it my respects, and offered its energy patterns the chance to latch onto my new bicycle, provided they would refrain from breaking spokes; it feels like it half took the offer and half didn't. But, my beliefs in the spirits of things aside, I am getting used to how this bicycle handles; it weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of half as much as the last one (although transplanting my old rack did kick the weight up more than I hoped it might), so its center of momentum is very different.

After my previous bicycle was stripped for its usable parts- water rack and rear rack, since the kickstand was too short (the one they sold me was too long, but that was easily fixed with a pair of bolt cutters)- it needed to be disposed of properly. It was reparable, just not economical to repair; I felt bad about consigning it to being recycled, but I figured that's what they'd have to do.

Well, as the manager of the bike shop told me, they're more pragmatic than that. Their method of disposing of unwanted/unworkable bicycles is to leave them sitting on the rack out front overnight unlocked. The problem thus solves itself, and the bicycle winds up in the hands of someone who needs it and, generally, is handy enough to fix it, knows someone who is handy enough to fix it, or can steal enough parts from other bicycles to fix it.

Practical, and strangely humanitarian, but I remain amused.

I've migrated to DreamWidth. The original post is at View comment count unavailable comments at; go ahead and use OpenID to post your own, or you can comment here.
Tags: bicycle

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