Next stop, the glue factory

Today I sent ol’ Number Four, my exasperating mountain bike, off to the scrap yard to be turned into plowshares or musical instruments or whatever. I was hoping it would get there today but my friend who was taking it there wanted the tires for himself, so it will be even more stripped when it finally hits the scrap heap.

I only paid $40 for it, and it was already having problems with the bottom bracket (where the pedals are attached to the frame), so I didn’t have high expectations to start with. It got me around the secret city from June through September, and then two days before the fixed-wing came in the mail from Brooklyn, the bottom bracket finally loosened for good and I couldn’t pedal it any further. It was the fourth bike I’ve owned for myself, after the black Jamis Durango ATB, the ten-speed I bought to commute with (and that is now on its fourth frame and third drive train, but the handlebar grips are the same), and the Basso Ti-frame racing bike that’s sitting in storage. Four is supposed to be an unlucky number, right?

After the problem with the bottom bracket put it out to pasture, I donated the brakes to Cindy and the pedals to Wilner, which is why it is missing those things in the picture.

Thanks for everything, number four! Best of luck in your new incarnation!

3 thoughts on “Next stop, the glue factory

  1. More things to remember:If I’d had a decent bike in June, I would have gotten a lot more fitness riding earlier, but I probably wouldn’t have shipped the fixed-wing to the secret city from Brooklyn. The hotter weather would also have been a factor; I used to have a reason for getting up before dawn to run, because that was the coolest time of the day, in the 80s. It was still pretty scorching in the afternoons and evenings too. I had one ride with Tony one morning where he got the idea to do hill repeats on the one hill in the secret city. I could hear the poor bottom bracket going kruk-kruk-kruk as I tried to pedal myself up the hill. It didn’t help that the bike (even though it had no heavy suspension) was a real boat anchor and weighed about as much as a bathtub full of sand. It bugged me to no end that Tony was faster with his new-out-of-the-box department-store bike. At the time I got the fixed-wing out here, back in September, he and Jose had a serious afternoon-ride habit. So I got on the new bike and went along with them one afternoon. I paced him for 20 minutes, until we got to Echo Gate. As we turned the corner there, with the north wind at our backs, I just accelerated until it was a done deal. I got back to the lodging ten minutes before he did, and that was pretty much the end of his afternoon riding habit (he did sprain his ankle a month later).

  2. The wider tires of the mountain bike did have one compensation; it was easier to get up onto curbs. With the fixed-wing, I look out for impromptu curb cuts so I don’t end up jamming the wheel against the inside of the curb and flipping myself into traffic like an egg over easy.

  3. Echo Gate: all the entrances/exits to the secret city were lettered in order. If I recall correctly, E Gate was at the west end of the airfield, on the other side of the road from the detention center. There was another gate further along counterclockwise on the far side, behind the fuel farm, but I can’t remember which letter that was offhand (G?). I think D Gate was on the other side of the secret city, where the firing range was located.

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