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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 12-22-05, 01:00 PM   #1
lancekagar
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Origionally posted this story over at livejournal, but figured it would be appriciated here, too.


After now searching my house for five days for a photograph that seems to have vanished, I've decided to post the following contribution without it. I'm convinced the picture will appear in the most obvious place the moment I hit "update". As it goes.

From early 2003 to late 2004 I was one of the very few bike messengers working in Beverly Hills. Yes, believe it or not, Beverly Hills has about ten bike messengers. Behind a building positioned at the south-east corner of Beverly and Wilshire was a small square of concrete we'd designated as our "stand by spot", a place to hang when work was slow or between jobs or whatever. Not only was it sort of secluded, but it happened to be central to Bev. Hills, and also good for people-watching, etc. It was there that I met the most talented scavenger I have ever known. A homeless cycling freak named Greg.



Anyone out there in LA know this guy? Chime in if you do. I'm sure there are plenty of good stories out there about him.

Greg was homeless, but was one of those homeless guys that seemed to treat it more like camping than having no place to go. From looking at him you'd never know he slept in bushes and on church steps. He was always fairly clean and well dressed--more so than most of us messengers, I'd say. Greg was was also a cyclist and spent a LOT of time digging through Beverly Hills bike shop dumpsters and would come up with the most amazing scores.

Greg regularly hauled around a bag of top-notch dumpster finds with him, and would sell them to us messengers for almost nothing. It was a perfect system. Barely worn Dura-Ace bottom brackets, a SET of Spinergy Trispoke wheels, various carbon fiber handlebars and seat tubes, and an unlimited supply of practically new tires. The first time I met him he sold me a perfectly new Shimano bottom bracket for five bucks. He was just like that.

But the best of his finds was by fart, I mean by FAR the carbon-fiber Kestrel time trial bike. Imagine the sublime irony...homeless guy in Bevery Hills on a carbon-fiber Kestrel time trial bike. And I have a picture of him posing with it somewhere, but I can't find it....crap.

It's one of the things I like most about cycling. Finding cool stuff here and there and making it my own.

How 'bouts you? Find anything cool lately?

Last edited by lancekagar; 12-22-05 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 12-22-05, 01:07 PM   #2
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I find it hard to believe that somebody threw away a bike like that. Maybe Greg needs to be hung from the nearest tall tree as a bike thief!

PS--Your link dosn't work. Maybe because of the quotation marks in it?
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Old 12-22-05, 01:15 PM   #3
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The frame had a crack in it.
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Old 12-22-05, 01:52 PM   #4
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Where did he pick it up? The only Kestrel dealer I know around Beverly Hills is the Beverly Hills Bike Shop.
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Old 12-22-05, 02:35 PM   #5
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I found an old 40's track frame in a dumpster once. Found a couple low-end decent mountain bikes. I too like to rumage through trash (one man's trash is another man's treasure). There's a dumpster (won't tell where) that always has bike frames (some of them are actually decent, like the 40's track frame). My old fixie conversion was found in a dumpster by me too! It was a high-end sears road bike from the 80's. It must have had only 50 miles on it, all the parts still had old grease in it, and the parts were still shiny from 1980's! My one friend found a touring frame with braze - on's and cantilever brake levers, I'll have to get the brand name off of him sometime.

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Old 12-22-05, 02:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
I find it hard to believe that somebody threw away a bike like that. Maybe Greg needs to be hung from the nearest tall tree as a bike thief!
Don't accuse anyone of being a bike theif until they tell you that they stole it. I have found numerous nice frames in dumpsters that people had no clue of it's value. My friend scored a mid-90's track frame with track ends in a dumpster because it was professionally repaired, but no one must've wanted it. It had a crease in the top tube, but he took it to a bike shop, and they offically said that it is straight and fine to ride.

Bike finds are the best finds because it is free! People who are homeless/dumpster divers seem to find some of the BEST things ever in dumpsters, I know, I go along with them lots of times. People throw away lots of perfectly usable things because they are ********. Hey...that means people like me and fellow divers can score awesome things without worries! It is fun too, sometimes it gets messy, sometimes people bi#ch at you...but hey, you have to lose a little to get a lot!

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Old 12-22-05, 11:52 PM   #7
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In the better weather I was a regular at the local bike shop dumpster. It's a reliable source of tires (haven't bought any since I found the dumpster) plus I've found brand new gloves and helmet, handlebars, tape, miscellaneous parts, crappy mountain bikes, and a 16" bmx bike that is a crapload of fun. What's even better is to work there yourself or have a friend who works there. Then you get the pick of the trash.
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Old 12-23-05, 12:34 AM   #8
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Dumpser Diving is the best... I have found numerous bikes or good quality in the trash. Some of my best finds were a Viscount Sebring and a Miyata 512!!! I recently picked up a Centuron Ironman frame, the owner was dumping it because it was "too old."
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Old 12-23-05, 06:20 AM   #9
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I could believe it. Rich folks throw stuff away all the time in near perfect condition for the most insignificant reasons. If I lived in Beverly Hills/Hollywood Hills, I wouldn't work an office job- I'd dumster dive and hold sales.

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Old 12-23-05, 01:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the homealien
In the better weather I was a regular at the local bike shop dumpster. It's a reliable source of tires (haven't bought any since I found the dumpster) plus I've found brand new gloves and helmet, handlebars, tape, miscellaneous parts, crappy mountain bikes, and a 16" bmx bike that is a crapload of fun. What's even better is to work there yourself or have a friend who works there. Then you get the pick of the trash.
This reminds me of the time I took my bike in to the shop for one of their "free tuneups". When they returned it, an expensive part had been swapped for a cheap one. When I complained to the manager the part turned up- in a cardboard box labeled "trash".
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Old 12-23-05, 04:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
I find it hard to believe that somebody threw away a bike like that. Maybe Greg needs to be hung from the nearest tall tree as a bike thief!

PS--Your link dosn't work. Maybe because of the quotation marks in it?
Other people in the livejournal community (bikepirates) knew Greg too and backed up his non-theif status. he is legit.
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Old 12-30-05, 10:59 AM   #12
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The people working at that Beverly Hills bike shop must be paid well above the standard rate to go throwing away perfectly good kit like that. The employees at my local bike shop won't even the worst condition ride in the trash because one of them is always thinking that they can make it work for something.
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Old 12-30-05, 12:56 PM   #13
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I found a full Dura-Ace Guerciotti TSX at the city dump this summer.

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