A few weeks ago I take a Sunday afternoon ride, doing about 40 miles or so with some of it on a state highway and most of it on farm roads that go up and down and up...etc. Just before I turn off the main highway I pass this place that sells commerical kitchen appliances (used), tractors, riding mowers, old cars, vending machines, beds....you get the picture. I've passed the place often in a car. Only this time I notice a bicycle, tied with bungee cord to the front of an old trailer.
I stop to look.
The tires are threadbare with cords showing. The spokes are rusted. The plastic seat is mutilated. There is no front brake. The drop bars are turned upside down to make it easy for him. There is a set of rusty baskets on the bike, mounted where my panniers should go. But there is no mistaking what's there, its a Trek 720 with 700 wheels and a 7 speed rear cog.
The next day I drive out at lunch, navigate through ten dogs, and find the owner's wife. I ask if he would like to sell the bike, since EVERTHING ELSE on the place is supposed to be for sale. She says "oh no, he couldn't sell his Trek, he rides it around when we go to the Trade Days", referring to a well known once-a-month flea market gathering in East Texas that takes up about half of a Texas county.
Any ideas on how to get him to sell it? I had thought of taking him a new Wal Mart Schwinn with a rack or baskets (figure $200) and $100 cash. He doesn't realize that if the threadbare tire every stops in an ant bed it will go flat, and he won't be able to find a 700 tube in the county where he lives. Its enough to make a grown man cry...like using a Corvette to pull a manure spreader. But it's his bike, not mine. Thoughts?
UPDATE 4/12---- Did I neglect to mention I left my card? The guy called yesterday and said he wanted $350 for the bike and I said maybe, but I needed to look. All that I wanted was the frame, and a new LHT is about $400. Anyway, when I look at the bike there is an unhealthy noise in the crank. Further inspection reveals that the BB looks like it has a grinder taken to it and the serial number is unreadable. Maybe stolen sometime ago? There was a crack and jagged hole in the bottom of the BB shell where the rust had gotten. So that was the end of that.