Thursday, July 14, 2005

my "new" bike

so, i have this place where i get bikes from. they're basically bikes that people have thrown away to be recycled as scrap metal. i've gotten kid's bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, bmx bikes, a sweet ass old schwinn bike(think the little red bike most every 8 yr old got for christmas in 1965), and some weird ones, like a bmw olympic team frame, which is a mtn bike, but the frame folds in half. bizarre.
anyway in order to score the bikes for free, they have to be liberated at night, or when the place is closed, so that no employees will be around. it's sort of semi quasi legal to take stuff from this place, but prolly not a good idea to be seen doing it, nonetheless.
anyway, last night, i go to check it out. what to my wandering eyes does appear? a little kids bike. 12 inch wheels, pink girl's frame, and a rack on the back wheel. like for panniers or something. as if the 4 year old riding this is going on a cross country ride and needs saddlebags.
i'm wearing flipflops, by the way, and wasn't counting on actually getting in the dumpster, but i couldn't resist this pink perfect minibike. so i climbed in.
as i'm going for broke to liberate this sweet little bike, i spot some more bike parts. a 20" bmx wheel, with peg still attached. so i toss that out of the dumpster, into my pile of "scrap" metal to be liberated.
as i'm maneuvering closer to the wheel, i see a frame and fork. it's pretty beefy, and i guess(correctly) that it;'s a bmx frame. at the time, it was being suffocated by a discarded stove. i had to wrestle witht he stove while balanced on some other sort of scrap metal, which seemed to be solid enough for me to brace against while i manhandled this dead stove out of the way.
i finally get the schwinn "pro track 3" as it's known free from the clutches of the stove and the random chain link fence scraps, and it's complete. someone tossed it. keep in mind that at the time, i didn't know what kind of bike it was. i jus knew it was beefy as hell, solid, had some killer parts, 3 pc cranks, and had to be a hefty bmx frame, worth a little bit of climbing gear at least.
so, i looked and looked online, and finally found a picture of this bike, and a description and nailed it as the pro stock 3 that it is.
the good news? it's a 300 dollar bike.
the bad news which actually might turn out to be good news? it was recalled later in 1999, due to some faulty welds or something. so this means that while i can't sell it (morally most of all, i don't have the heart to sell a recalled product to some unaware schmoe, but prolly legally there's somethign wrong with that as well, especially since i now know about the recall.
i find out tomorrow if i can still exchange it for a new replacement one, as provided by the terms of the recall.
moral of the story? i may have gotten a new bike from the dumpster.

update #1: i called schwinn, and the recall occured prior to their having declared bankruptcy, so i'm sol as far as getting a replacement frame. the guy i spoke to was funny, cos i kept saying "so, i'm basically out of luck? i have a bike i can't sell, and can't ride?" and his response was "well, sir, i have to be very careful about my language here. the schwinn corporate response is that you should not ride that bike." and then i finally got him to say that if a bike shop checks out the welds, it's prolly ok, but "having said that, it in no way is an endorsement by schwinn that it's ok to ride the bike..." and that's how i left it.

update #2: early on in this adventure, i posted a message on a schwinn bmx forum looking for hte model name, any info on it, etc and got no helpful response. after having spoken to schwinn, i posted again about how i thought it was a pro stock 3, which had been recalled, (have you not been reading so far?) and that i'm out of luck. so after having posted that message, someone else posted with some new, better news. i don't have apro stock 3. i have a pro stock 1. which was a> not recalled. and b> almost 700 dollars new. holy crap! score. the person who posted(keep in mind the almost ocd like behavior of those who post in these types of forums, being able to discern the model name of a bike based on aserial number, an obscure description of some feature of the frame, etc...) said that the only olive and chrome and black model was the pro stock 1. so it's what i have. i'm so stoked.

too bad my lock is not worthy of a 700 dollar freebike.

now, to sell or not to sell? the pragmatic dumpster diver 28 1/2 year old in me says to sell it and buy some climbing gea---pay down some debt. the 14 year old bmx dork in me says to keep it, even tho i know i'm not capable/worthy of such a sweet ride.

we'll see. i may shop it around and see what i can get for it.

update over 3 years later:

turns out i ended up keeping the bike for awhile, and it just took up space in the garage. i posted it on craiglist, and tried to play up the bmx awesomeness of the bike. the only interest i got was from some guy who sounded super excited on the phone, and then came over and asked if it would be a good bike to ride to bars.
sold it for 100 bucks.
that was about 2 years ago. i completely forgot about this bike.

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