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How we can save some vintage bikes!

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How we can save some vintage bikes!

Old 09-29-18, 04:02 PM
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AdventureManCO 
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How we can save some vintage bikes!

A couple days ago I went to one of my new favorite places to look at old bike stuff – a place called ‘Good Bikes’, a tiny bike outfit run out of the local area Goodwill warehouse. Their main purpose is more ‘people driven’ than ‘bike driven’ – give folks with developmental or cognitive disabilities a place to do something positive and work on some bikes and learn new skills. They then sell the worked-on bikes. See more about them here.

I caught them right as they were leaving for lunch, so I hung out outside the shop area for them to return, where there are some large scrap bins for me to stay entertained with. Well, entertaining they were…





A little dirty and crusty. Hidden gold.



In the scrap pile I found a Raleigh Super Course and, digging deeper, also found a fillet brazed Schwinn Super Sport. Plus a bunch of other bikes that looked decently usable/sellable with a little work.

Super! A Super Sport, to be exact.




Destined for destruction, set aside for scrap. I feel like I rescued bunch of cats. Meet my temporary lawn ornaments.

Confused, I spoke to the shop manager upon their return (she is a cool lady and pretty down to earth) and she told me that any bike that has rust on it, they can’t put out on the floor for sale. The Super Course and Super Sport sadly went straight into the dumpster. The other bikes, well…

Turns out that due to parts shortages and lack of consumables, some bikes that may be fixable don’t make the cut. Because they don’t have master mechanics who can plan a build 15 steps ahead, bikes that are a little more intensive repair-wise can easily discourage and frustrate their volunteers. What compounds that is lack of parts and basics like cables and tubes. When I asked about it, it sounds like they have no working budget to buy things like that – whatever they get in the way of bike donations is what they have to work with.

So I want to do something about it. I’m going to try to link up a local bicycle co-op to try and take some of the more intensive bicycle projects off their hands (which they were excited about), I know a great source for those old grungy road bikes (hi, C&V subforum!) that they would scrap anyway. But they could still use things like tubes and patches and cables and housing. Anyone interested in helping?

When I asked what they needed most, they said tubes – 12”, 16”, 20” and 26” most needed. Patched tubes are fine. Sounds like they have no patches to work with. I’m thinking of getting one of those 100 packs of the Rema patches and maybe do a small clinic for the volunteers on patching tubes. I think something small/simple could go a long way for these guys.

Here is the address of the Good Bikes shop, just in case you’ve got some extras laying around your shop:

6850 Federal Blvd.
Denver, CO 80221

Since it is located in the Goodwill warehouse, I would address anything using something like ‘Goodwill Industries, ATTN: Good Bikes Shop’

Also, to anyone donating, please let me know if you are interested in either of the Super Sport or Super Course frames – in the interest of paying it forward, I’d love to see them go to a deserving member here who is able to help out this little shop. They are larger (I can get exact measurments) and while crusty, they are in decent shape and each would make a GREAT starting build.

Last edited by AdventureManCO; 09-29-18 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 09-29-18, 04:58 PM
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That is the longest post I have ever seen on BF in my nearly 10 years here. Bravo

DD
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Old 09-29-18, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO View Post
I figured worst I could hear would be 'No.'
On a forum, you could hear a LOT worse.

But I digress. This is actually quite awesome, your thread, along with what you did today. Lots of ideas come to mind.

* Don't ANY of the proceeds from the bike sales slush back into the operation? Yeah, it's always noble to reuse / repurpose as much as possible with any such operation, and low-budget is admirable. But no-budget is unrealistic;there are always "consumable" costs. What do they do for lubricants, cleaners, shop towels, etc? I wonder how many bikes DON'T get fixed for lack of one foot of cable housing, or what-not. There should really be a campaign launched to feed back even a small percent, two bucks per bike or something, back into operating expenses.

* Is there any other bike co-op / recycle / build-to-own operation in the area? An ongoing exchange relationship would be in order, whereby the other operation would get the rusty frames, etc. that GB can't use, and in exchange GB would get the small stuff you mentioned that they're always struggling to obtain.

* Found their web site - https://www.goodwilldenver.org/progr...goodbikes.html . Site should have a wish list, one specific to the GB operation. Shoot, I'm sure I have a glut of MTB size innertubes, and I'll be they're cheap enough to mail.

Situation reminds me of the _real_ version of the "fish" aphorism - Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish (and nothing more), and he starves for lack of a pole. Lend him your spare pole, and teach him some barter economics, and he eats for life, returns your pole, shares his abundance of fish and passes it all along to the next guy.
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Old 09-29-18, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
That is the longest post I have ever seen on BF in my nearly 10 years here. Bravo

DD
I don't know if that is a good thing or not lol. I think I'll add a TL; DR to it
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Old 09-29-18, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
On a forum, you could hear a LOT worse.

But I digress. This is actually quite awesome, your thread, along with what you did today. Lots of ideas come to mind.

* Don't ANY of the proceeds from the bike sales slush back into the operation? Yeah, it's always noble to reuse / repurpose as much as possible with any such operation, and low-budget is admirable. But no-budget is unrealistic;there are always "consumable" costs. What do they do for lubricants, cleaners, shop towels, etc? I wonder how many bikes DON'T get fixed for lack of one foot of cable housing, or what-not. There should really be a campaign launched to feed back even a small percent, two bucks per bike or something, back into operating expenses.

* Is there any other bike co-op / recycle / build-to-own operation in the area? An ongoing exchange relationship would be in order, whereby the other operation would get the rusty frames, etc. that GB can't use, and in exchange GB would get the small stuff you mentioned that they're always struggling to obtain.

* Found their web site - https://www.goodwilldenver.org/progr...goodbikes.html . Site should have a wish list, one specific to the GB operation. Shoot, I'm sure I have a glut of MTB size innertubes, and I'll be they're cheap enough to mail.

Situation reminds me of the _real_ version of the "fish" aphorism - Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish (and nothing more), and he starves for lack of a pole. Lend him your spare pole, and teach him some barter economics, and he eats for life, returns your pole, shares his abundance of fish and passes it all along to the next guy.
Really good thoughts all around. I'll ask the manager if they can advocate for part of the proceeds from bike sales (i.e. a small pecentage) can go back into purchasing needed goods. As far as the budget goes, you are probably right. There is probably money that goes to certain things, but not to others. It reminds me of hearing from some of the teachers my organization has collaborated with who obviously are paid a salary, but things like pencils, organizers, sharpeners, markers, etc. - they actually have to pay for that our of their own pocket. In the grand scheme of things, it is a little bike shop in the middle of a much larger operation. I don't know if anyone who works there are 'bike people', but they are 'people people', which means the focus is more on helping those with disabilities have something to do and I think whatever bike-related results they may get from it are a bonus. Because of that, it could lead to things like them getting plenty of shop towels, but no consumables. Or maybe they had an outfit donate a bunch of tools at one point, but those have lasted and the tubes and cables dried up a long time ago. I'm not sure.

As far as the local co-op outfits go, that is my plan to link these fine folks up. I think it would be great to start saving bikes, and if the co-op gets a good discount on cables or patch kits or whatever, then maybe they can throw some their way.

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Old 09-29-18, 07:53 PM
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^^^^^ Exactly, get the bike people and the people people together.
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Old 09-29-18, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
That is the longest post I have ever seen on BF in my nearly 10 years here. Bravo

DD
Ha! Well, I completely re-wrote it in the interest of making less heads hurt
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Old 09-29-18, 11:32 PM
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I thought the local Goodwill store has a smelter hiding- I see bikes being donated then they vanish never to be seen again.
the local Salvation Army store just hangs them meat hook style with prices that are amazing in their assault on rational thought.
no effort expended to get them going well.

the Good Bikes needs a paradigm shift it reads, totally understand about the abilities of the help, but almost anyone who can show up to work is trainable to a functional degree just needing much more time and repetition to be effective.

i guess I would work it what do the trainees need to become as useful as possible? Maybe even outside employable ? Then figure out how to get the "consumables" into the shop. I guess my thought would not be C&V folk ( other than a market for some of the "scrap" but an importer / distributor
Who could donate or sell stuff to the training program.
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Old 09-29-18, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO View Post
Ha! Well, I completely re-wrote it in the interest of making less heads hurt
I first read it on my phone, and wow! It doesn't (well, didn't) look quite as long on my laptop, but still pretty long. But there was a lot of information to convey, hey?

I really dig that Super Sport. Don't see too many of those around these days, and I bet it would be easy to find decals for it. Although I once owned a Super Course, I'd call the Schwinn the best score.

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Old 09-30-18, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO View Post
...As far as the local co-op outfits go, that is my plan to link these fine folks up. I think it would be great to start saving bikes, and if the co-op gets a good discount on cables or patch kits or whatever, then maybe they can throw some their way.
That seems like a good start. If nothing else, they can share their methods of sustaining the co-op with the consumable parts they need.
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