Monday, March 31, 2014

Bike Co-Op

After putting it off for nearly a year, I finally joined the local bike co-op a month or so ago.

I read the handbook and did the requisite orientation before finally going there ‐ yesterday, as I write this – to work, which is what I had really been looking forward to.

The place is called Community Cycles, and what I got to do was strip bikes. That is, I took a few donated bikes that for some reason had been designated beyond ordinary repair. I took them apart piece by piece, salvaged what was useable, and trashed the rest.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and can't wait to go again.

I took a very short break at one point. I was waiting to ask someone a question but she was temporarily unavailable. So I wandered through a large, open garage door, outside to where a guy was working on an unusual-looking bike. It was, I learned, a homemade vehicle. Its most prominent feature was a low platform in the middle of the bike. I asked the guy about it: it's a cargo bike, he said. It appeared capable of carrying at least a few boxes of stuff at a time.

I didn't get to ask anything else, though, because the person with the answer to my question reappeared, and I didn't want to keep her waiting.

All told, I spent about three hours at the bike co-op. When I finished stripping the first bike I was told the frame wasn't any good, and that it had to be trashed. For liability reasons, apparently, I was instructed to crush the frame's rear triangle, that section of chain stays and seat stays. I set it on the floor and stood on the stays. Kee-runch.

The entire experience was a total blast. I didn't take any pictures. The picture accompanying this post is more than twenty years old.

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