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Old 10-25-09, 08:21 PM   #1
Fibber
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The Varsity I lost in Poughkeepsie today

Long story about my bad day. First, let me readily admit that I was an idiot in not properly protecting my new-found property. While I was angry at my friend, it was really largely my fault that this played out as badly as it did. Still, my disappointment clouded much of the rest of the morning.

The scene was a parking lot flea market being sponsored by my Temple as a fund raiser, around 8 AM. About half of the tables were filled with stuff donated by members for us to sell, the other tables were private rental space. I got there with my car loaded with donation stuff for the Temple, and with a secondary goal of buying household goods from any table to be donated to another charity. I recently got involved as a supporter of a transitional living initiative for kids aging out of foster and emergency housing and into subsidized apartments. These kids need everything as they are being put into studio apartments with nothing but a mattress and some clothes. Anything we can provide (kitchen stuff, linens, toiletries, the basics of life....) will be put to immediate use.

Well, I pulled up and my gaze fixated on a vintage 10 speed apparently donated by a member. Head-badge indicated a 1981 Schwinn Varsity, condition very good. Virtually rust free, complete and everything work (except dry-rotted tires) but sun faded paint and some decal peel - priced at $10. I immediately paid, as several of the group got into a discussion about why a seemingly normal guy like me would want another old bicycle! Then two of them came over to my car to help unload, and I went 'shopping' for the kids. The bike was forgotten, with me assuming (yep, don't need to remind me....), that it was being moved out of harms way.

A few moments later, I returned to move ithe bike to the car, but guess what (?), it was no where to be seen. Figuring that my friend had moved it to behind the tables, I casually asked what he had done with it. He proudly announced for all to hear that he had sold it! Yes, I responded, "to me - about 15 minutes ago". He stopped dead in his tracks, his jaw dropped. Man, I knew that I was in trouble! Sure enough, he totally blanked that he was examining it with me, and was there when I paid. Being a good salesman, he had just sold it again!

Now I love the guy. He has been a great inspiration to me over the years, but I have become increasingly aware that he'll tell the same story to me twice when we are together. So selling something twice shouldn't have come as a great surprise. But I guess I didn't hide my immediate disappointment very well, and I know he feels bad about it. So I took some more stuff for the kids (added in a kettle and some utensils), and we called it even. Guess I need to send him an apology note for being less than charitable.

Moral of the story - stay focused!

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Old 10-25-09, 08:33 PM   #2
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your immediate disappointment was honest. no need to feel bad about it, since you already do
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Old 10-25-09, 08:36 PM   #3
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Church & Temple yardsales can really bring out the hawks! The one we have each spring always amazes me. Emotions, tempers, and competition collide head-on.

What a bummer that Varsity sold twice and you got the short end of the deal.
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Old 10-25-09, 08:47 PM   #4
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At least it wasn't a Paramount that he sold out from under you for $15.
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Old 10-25-09, 09:27 PM   #5
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I had to pass on a Schwinn World Sport, late 80s Black chromoly, all there. It was in a dumpster and as I started to fish it out, an attendant informed me that if I pulled it out it would cost me $250 in fines, and I still wouldn't get the bike. So a beautiful bike gets ground up.
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Old 10-25-09, 09:33 PM   #6
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I had to pass on a Schwinn World Sport, late 80s Black chromoly, all there. It was in a dumpster and as I started to fish it out, an attendant informed me that if I pulled it out it would cost me $250 in fines, and I still wouldn't get the bike. So a beautiful bike gets ground up.
That's just evil.
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Old 10-25-09, 09:56 PM   #7
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Church & Temple yardsales can really bring out the hawks! The one we have each spring always amazes me. Emotions, tempers, and competition collide head-on.

What a bummer that Varsity sold twice and you got the short end of the deal.
I heard that these were being donated to my church's garage sale by one of the older ladies in the church, and scooped them both up before the event:

1966 Raleigh DL-1 & 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS (NOS with price tags)


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Old 10-26-09, 06:28 AM   #8
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Understand your pain, Rocco. For me it was actually the second disappointment of the weekend. Saturday was the town's semi-annual bulk dump day. Being a 30 year veteran of the village gets me a little 'picking' privilage if the right guys are on duty. But this Saturday was a complete washout in the N.E. and I decided that the driving rain and ankle deep mud just wasn't worth it. Then the 'double sale' incident on Sunday. Two strikes!

Doohickie: Nice Tourist!
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Old 10-26-09, 06:45 AM   #9
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I had to pass on a Schwinn World Sport, late 80s Black chromoly, all there. It was in a dumpster and as I started to fish it out, an attendant informed me that if I pulled it out it would cost me $250 in fines, and I still wouldn't get the bike. So a beautiful bike gets ground up.
That calls for staging a diversion to distract the stick their ..... attendant.
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Old 10-27-09, 11:03 PM   #10
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Doohickie: Nice Tourist!
Thanks. It was a lucky find, doubly so since I had no idea what rod brakes or a Brooks saddle were when I bought it.
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Old 10-28-09, 07:51 AM   #11
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My wife was at a church sale a while back and saw a bike, so she called me to see if it was worth small amount of $$. She started to tell me it was a Schwinn and I said buy it, she said 'ok' and then 'oh no' as someone else snapped it up while she was on the phone. What a fun conversation, we went from excited at a find to disappointed in no time at all. It was a roller coaster of emotion ;p Oh well, easy come, easy go. At least your's was just a varsity, there will likely be more.
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Old 10-28-09, 10:16 AM   #12
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Do you still want a Varsity? I have at least two. One is red and 21" in great condition. Another is light blue 19" in unknown condition, i.e. I haven't examined it thoroughly yet.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:25 PM   #13
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Hi Tom! It was a nice find at a sweet price, and the silliness of how I lost it after actually buying it was a bit hard to swallow. Truth is, I'm not quite sure what I would have done with it. This was an '81, and I have an '84 Deluxe Varsity already sitting in the basement awaiting my attention. I guess I would have kept the '81 as it was in much better overall shape.

So the net is thank you for the offer, but it's not like I *really* needed another bike! The fun is in the hunt, and in collecting and upgrading the fleet. Eventually I will have to start selling off the lesser bikes.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:03 PM   #14
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I understand.

I've collected a few of them recently. I chronicled the restoration of a green 23" Varsity here. It was a lot of work, but the end result was satisfying. I thought I would keep it as a hauling bike, but I didn't enjoy riding it enough. Handling was very good, but the weight was a major detraction. I sold it for $170, so I'm very satisfied with the transaction.
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Old 10-28-09, 09:08 PM   #15
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Sounds to me like the guy had a "senior moment." Happens to me all the time. It's one of the blessings of old age. :-)
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Old 10-28-09, 11:18 PM   #16
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That calls for staging a diversion to distract the stick their ..... attendant.
+1

I don't understand this attendant's attitude at all, although I suppose the fine is there to discourage people from climbing into dumpsters and getting injured, then suing the owner. Still -- what a waste. I would have been tempted to take the bike anyway.
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Old 10-28-09, 11:45 PM   #17
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Hi Tom! It was a nice find at a sweet price, and the silliness of how I lost it after actually buying it was a bit hard to swallow.
lesson learned: buy a bike rack for you car. Whenever you buy a bike in these venues, grab it, take it back and secure it to your rig. If you paid for something you thought you could carry and stash safely, you wouldn't have left it there. Think of bikes that way as well. Make them carry and stash. In the rare times I go to flea markets/garage sales and such, I go with my fully clad support rig that can carry up to 10 bikes (4 in a hitch rack, 2 up on top; and if it I feel like it, I can drop the back seat and carry 4 more inside with front wheels detached).

It sucks but apparently it wasn't meant to be and next time you will be stronger...
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Old 10-29-09, 10:30 AM   #18
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I cannot think of one good reason to go outside of your county for a Varsity within the lower 48 states. they are still everywhere.
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Old 10-29-09, 10:46 AM   #19
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I had to pass on a Schwinn World Sport, late 80s Black chromoly, all there. It was in a dumpster and as I started to fish it out, an attendant informed me that if I pulled it out it would cost me $250 in fines, and I still wouldn't get the bike. So a beautiful bike gets ground up.
Reminds me of the anti dumping signs where I grew up. $100 fine for dumping or picking up garbage. The story went that many dumpers would have a look out. One would dump away while the other watched for LEOs. When one approached, they would quickly start picking up garbage. As the cop questioned them, they would proudly announce: "Look, we have already picked up almost half a truckload of junk out here". So they made it against the law to pick up.

Thats how the government thinks.
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Old 10-29-09, 11:05 AM   #20
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As I mentioned earlier, my town has two bulk trash days a year. Although they have it well signed "NO PICKING" basically for liability purposes, they don't harass you if you are quiet and respectful when you do it.

The next town over has a wonderful 'recycling' policy. The center is built into a hillside with recessed dumpsters organized by material type. You pull up on clean blacktop, and throw your stuff over a wall. They encourage you to leave anything that you think might be of value leaning up against that wall. Policy is anyone can then take it and drive off. Clean, neat and safe. Anything that stays for more than a few hours gets tossed in by the attentive staff. Once over the wall, it's gone....

I snagged a great shape 1996 Scott Arapahoe mountain bike that my daughter now treasures during the summer, and a fellow crazy gave me a 1981 Fuji S12-s that she brought home last year.
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Old 10-29-09, 11:10 AM   #21
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I've acquired many bikes that way, from the recycling center. It's really amazing to see what treasure people consider junk.
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