bike swap bikes...

so... I my Bike Swap this fall was held on what may have been the coldest day of the season... cold and wet... a bite in the air that went straight to the bone
well... the Bike Swap is essentially a yard sale
yard sales do not do well on cold wet rainy days

there were all sorts of bikes left over from the bike swap
the bicycle rodeo had six kids instead of sixty
but it was still a success as those kids and the families of those kids had a blast
yet it lacked the numbers
it was a success and those successes keep building on themselves

earlier this week I saw a young woman with a cool Euro look
as she passed I thought... if only I had my camera
then I noticed... this is the young woman from Albania
the young woman who bought a Univega with a very interesting bottom bracket
the bike went for 125... that is 125 after Cargo Mike gave it a solid look in the stand

mid week last week I ran into my old friend Al
I know Al from dogs but I also know Al from bikes
Al asked me if I had any old bikes... not because of the Bike Swap but because I always have old bikes
sure enough... I had some decent mountain bike style bikes from the late 80's
so... I grabbed what I believed to be the closest to being rideable bikes and rolled it out the back gate to the alley
then later that week I gave two bikes in various state of disrepair to the laborers doing the work on the yard across the alley

some bikes had been flipped
about a dozen small children bikes of Box Store quality some more working than others were put in the park at Lamont and Mount Pleasant Street... those bikes did not last 24 hours
six or so bikes that were good as parts bikes had been left leaned against my trash cans the night of the bike swap
they were gone in a few days

there were a number of bikes sold at the bike swap... far more children's bike's then adult bikes
which is not a problem because that was really the point
adult bikes are a logical part of the Bike Swap equation but being a used bike store is not the objective

so... I worked to get rid of all the remaining bikes
bikes were sold at the Bike Swap
the remaining bikes were given away

a bike went to my old son's fifth grade teacher
just as Dean's teacher got a bike from the last swap
a bike was offered to Grant's teacher who is looking for a bike
the Shogun did not meet her liking... not with its unique geometry and its unique front wheel
the bike with its Terry-esque women specific design did not appeal to her

so.... I walked the bike to school and I walked the bike home
then a few days later in a park a woman passed with her son's bike
we talked about his front fork being backwards
not that I felt it was dangerous but I figured the geometry would work better if it was the intended wheel base and intended fork rake

she seemed to understand the simplicity of the repair
I demonstrated how to pull the brake cable from the brake if there were any tangling issues
in our conversation it was discovered that this woman was Polish
not only was she from Poland but she was from Krakow... my ancestors are from Krakow

it is vague and blurred in my memory if it was discussed and decided that I had a bike for her before or after I learned that she was from Krakow... a city in Poland that I visited this past spring with my father and my family

either way I brought the bicycle to school the next day
but... I did not see her
I did not see her at drop off or pick up all week
this afternoon I was starting to give up
starting to think I should bring the bike home

today I gave extra attention when looking for her
the orange box store bike with is weighty bmx style pegs was not in any of the bike racks
not in the original bike racks or the second set of WABA installed bike racks
it seemed that all of the classes had been released when I saw the Polish woman I had promised the bicycle to

I grabbed her
she had thought I missed her... maybe the change into the cold weather... she thought that she had missed the opportunity... maybe she thought I was all talk
but no.. I had the bicycle on site within reach
she smiled widely

we talked about the need to replace the unusual tire
I showed her the raised lettering marking the size of the tire
telling her than the bicycle shops are going to argue with her about the 24 X 1 road size tire
just as she had understood the mechanics of the reversing of the fork on her son's bike she sounded confident about the tire replacement

she was excited... very excited... like I WISH I COULD RIDE IT NOW excited
she started in on asking if the bike needed anything else but retracted it
knowing... the bike should be looked at and checked out
but not by me... the giving of the bike was enough

so... that may be it... that may roughly be it
there is the unicycle for Cargo Mike.... maybe I will run that stuff over to him along with the ski poles that he will turn into polo mallets

my photos from Krakow are amazing

better set of images here

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