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  1. #1
    The bike plague MightyLegnano's Avatar
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    A sad/happy story

    My father was the crazy guy who used to commute to work by biycle on a dangerous highway when noone even had a bicycle in my city. He always talks about the strange looks he used to get from the people down the road when he rode his bike back in the day. Anyway, 15 years ago he abandoned his old beat up french road bike, to buy a new pretty good mountain bike. He was 40 at the time, so the salesman tried to persuade him that a trekking (hybrid) should be the right choice for him. But my father insisted till the end. "I like a good bicycle that can take everything I throw at it, that's why I ensisted on the mountain bike, I 'd hate myself if I bought that bicyle-for-older-dudes" he told me later. So he bought this very nice mountain bike and rode it every day for 15 years. "It's my friend, it works and never complains, why should I change it with something else, it's the perfect bicycle" he liked to say very often. Six months ago the company he worked in, went bankcrupted and because of their huge debts my father haven't got any compensation money yet (I doubt he will ever get any). That really devastated him, because he had a very prestigious position in the company and now, all of a sudden, he's just an unemployed poor 55 year old man. Atleast he has his precious bicycle ("the only thing that REALLY belongs to me" he used to say - we are a big family and we share almost everything )! But alas, it got stolen few weeks ago. He forgot it locked outside for 2 nights. He's really absentminded lately. That made him really sad. He just can't believe how he left it there for so long. I caught him a week ago searching on the internet for bikes, butofcourse he doesn't afford to buy one.

    BUT 3 days ago a fiend of the family have heard about his bike and she kindly offered her child's old mountain bike which doesn't work, but it can be fixed. So, he took it home and waited for me 1 month to come back from job in an island. When I finally got home sit on the big table and ate some food with him, he turned to me and with a big smile in his face "did you see my new bicycle?". So I got in the basement and I saw a crappy wal-mart type of bicycle for teenagers with weird kiddy colours (light blue and yellow). Plastic pedals, grip shifters, huge bloated saddle, rusty all over etc. So I went upstairs again and said to him "This is pretty good, I will make it a better bicycle than the one you had before!". Ofcourse that wasn't the truth, but I can't afford to buy a new one for him, so will try my best to make it a descent machine

    I don't know why exactly but I wanted to share this with everyone here. It really makes me very sad for some reason, I'm more sad than he is propably! Most of the boys have a very sensitive side for their fathers I guess...
    Last edited by MightyLegnano; 09-03-12 at 10:30 AM.
    Bicyclosis! Bike hacks, bike adventures and radical ideas >> http://bicycleobsession.wordpress.com

  2. #2
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I can understand your father's dilemma. He's a little younger than me, but not much, and I'm also unemployed. I understand how it gets to you and how depressing it can be. Depression makes you a little obsessed internally, and details slip by. I am so sorry that his bike got left out and thus stolen. Even here we have read about how Greeks are using bikes much more, so I guess the theft is a side effect of that.

    I also have my treasured mountain bike. It's 24 years old now. It was a gift about 11 years ago. With its street tires, fenders, racks and lights it doesn't look much like a mountain bike any more, but it's rugged and dependable.

    He's putting a brave face on it. I wouldn't have said that the replacement would be better than before. Rather I would have focused on how it will help him to get back on his feet and get more exercise so he will stay healthy. Maybe he can celebrate a new job with a new bicycle.

    My hopes are with your father. I hope he is out there networking, and getting involved in the community so he can keep his skills sharp and show that he's still on top of his game. (Develop and implement a bicycle registration plan so bicycles can be indentified and returned to their owners and so used bicycle buyers can check if a bike is stolen before buying it?)

    I know how comforting it can be to just curl back into bed, and how tempting and unwise it is. I hope your father finds a new job quickly.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 09-03-12 at 11:09 AM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  3. #3
    Mike Coop500's Avatar
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    It's sad that his bike was stolen, but awesome he seems excited about riding again. Even if the "new" bike isn't nearly as nice as his old one. It seems to me just riding again will help make him happier.

    I am 40 and have had two back surgeries and lost two very good jobs each time. So I can kind of relate to what he is feeling.
    1994 Specialized Rockhopper Fs
    "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do"- Mark Twain

  4. #4
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    A bike to fix during unemployment can be a blessing in itself, even if losing an old friend is a hurt. I would be pretty hurt/depressed if my mtb got stolen even though I have 3 other bikes, I've had her through 2 countries and 14 years, 3 times as long as I've been married . Hopefully the law enforcement people can manage to pull a surprise gift for him. The one time I had another mtb stolen the police had it within a matter of hours but it took me a while after that to get in touch with the right person.
    Aviation Mechanic, Bike racer, Fitness Equipment Restorer

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  5. #5
    The bike plague MightyLegnano's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for your replies!

    Artkansas, very nice response you seem like a wise guy
    Bicyclosis! Bike hacks, bike adventures and radical ideas >> http://bicycleobsession.wordpress.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member GrandaddyBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbikerinpa View Post
    A bike to fix during unemployment can be a blessing in itself, even if losing an old friend is a hurt. I would be pretty hurt/depressed if my mtb got stolen even though I have 3 other bikes, I've had her through 2 countries and 14 years, 3 times as long as I've been married . Hopefully the law enforcement people can manage to pull a surprise gift for him. The one time I had another mtb stolen the police had it within a matter of hours but it took me a while after that to get in touch with the right person.
    It amazes me how we get emotionally attached to inanimate objects, like bikes. I have an old MTB that I bought back 1986 and even though I hardly ride that one any more I would be very upset if it got stolen. Before I retired the company I worked for sent me all over the country to schools and conferences. Back in those days Delta did not charge anything extra to carry my bike, so that old MTB has flown to many places with me.

    I am curious, you have aviation mechanic in your signature line. Do you have an A & P license? I belonged to a flying club for years that had 12 aircraft and a full time A & P mechanic. I loved working on planes so I volunteered a lot to help our mechanic. They didn’t pay me in money but I did get free flying time. Trust me, when you fly the same planes you work on, you are careful to do the work right.
    When I ride my destination is the ride itself. So I always get to where I am going.

  7. #7
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    I hope your father can find work.

    It sucks and is very depressing not being able to provide for your family. I'm 58 and haven't had an income in over 18 months. I'm an engineer and my whole profession has mostly shut down so my company doesn't have any work, I suspect most companies are in the same boat because if I do a job search in my state and all of the surrounding states I don't find any available jobs.

  8. #8
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    I have been unemployed for about 2 1/2 years except for a 8 month temp stint.

    As far as becoming attached to inanimate objects, I have a small story to tell. I bought brand new in 1992 a Huffy Manitoba mountain bike from Caldors in CT. I think it was 169 or 189 dollars. It was one of the better Huffys that were sold but that still doesn't mean crap. HI-ten frame, crappy steel wheels, cheap components, etc. But I had bought it new and rode it a little bit. I dragged it all the way to WA in 96 when I moved here. As my step-kids grew up, they used it. The bike fell apart over the years and finally about 2 years ago, I refurbed it somewhat. Didn't know much about bikes but got it ridable. My youngest son used it for about 2 years, he was about 19 when he started using it.

    I then started really getting into bikes about 10 months ago and got us all much better bikes. However I could not bear to get rid of that crappy huffy. Finally about 3 months ago, I just cleaned it up and donated it to the bike coop. It showed back at the coop about 3 weeks ago. I even took a picture of the new owner of my old crappy huffy. He actually really loves it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member apollored's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    I can understand your father's dilemma. He's a little younger than me, but not much, and I'm also unemployed. I understand how it gets to you and how depressing it can be. Depression makes you a little obsessed internally, and details slip by. I am so sorry that his bike got left out and thus stolen. Even here we have read about how Greeks are using bikes much more, so I guess the theft is a side effect of that.

    I also have my treasured mountain bike. It's 24 years old now. It was a gift about 11 years ago. With its street tires, fenders, racks and lights it doesn't look much like a mountain bike any more, but it's rugged and dependable.

    He's putting a brave face on it. I wouldn't have said that the replacement would be better than before. Rather I would have focused on how it will help him to get back on his feet and get more exercise so he will stay healthy. Maybe he can celebrate a new job with a new bicycle.

    My hopes are with your father. I hope he is out there networking, and getting involved in the community so he can keep his skills sharp and show that he's still on top of his game. (Develop and implement a bicycle registration plan so bicycles can be indentified and returned to their owners and so used bicycle buyers can check if a bike is stolen before buying it?)

    I know how comforting it can be to just curl back into bed, and how tempting and unwise it is. I hope your father finds a new job quickly.

    Bike Shepherd register bikes and have a scheme where people look out for stolen bikes. You can download a barcode app which allows you to scan any bike which has an ID Tag on it to check if it is stolen or not:


    http://www.bikeshepherd.org/
    Apollo Revival MTB AKA Sunshine

  10. #10
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyLegnano View Post
    Artkansas, very nice response you seem like a wise guy
    Thank you for the compliment. A "Wise Guy" in American is slang for a top-ranking man in the mafia, so I had a chuckle, but I know what you meant. That's a beautiful scene in your signature. Where is it?

    I hope your father's new bike is working out well and he is getting back on the road.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  11. #11
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apollored View Post
    Bike Shepherd register bikes and have a scheme where people look out for stolen bikes. You can download a barcode app which allows you to scan any bike which has an ID Tag on it to check if it is stolen or not:http://www.bikeshepherd.org/
    Do they cover Greece?
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member apollored's Avatar
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    They're a global organisation so yes they probably do
    Last edited by apollored; 09-05-12 at 04:38 PM.
    Apollo Revival MTB AKA Sunshine

  13. #13
    The bike plague MightyLegnano's Avatar
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    bikesheperd is awesome!!!

    This mountain has a very degrading name, something like this stupid mountain, or old mountain or damn mountain. Something like this. I'ts totally barren and that's propably why people neglect it. But it has AMAZING view and many volcanic craters that few people know about. I like to explore mountains that people neglect

    Look this picture. This tree is the biggest on the mountain and one of very few. It's right before the peak so you can climb it, and because the mountain is very steep, you can see the view above your feet!
    Bicyclosis! Bike hacks, bike adventures and radical ideas >> http://bicycleobsession.wordpress.com

  14. #14
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    so pleased how this site unites people. good luck finding yuor Dad's bike
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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