New Commuter

On a Sunday morning in early September, we found an abandoned bike leaning against the tree in our front yard. It was in wretched shape. The frame was mangled as if hit by a car, the brakes missing, the bottom bracket shot, the wheels out of true, the seat post was duct-taped in place, and it smelled weird. Still, it held promise as a commuter bike. But first, I had to clear it with karma.

I posted about the bike on and craigslist on the off chance that someone had it stolen or lost it. Bike thieves are among my most hated kinds of people, so I didn’t want any guilt by association. After 2 weeks, I decided that the posts and the wretched shape were enough that I could adopt it and return it to usable condition. However, I didn’t want to spend much money because the idea was to have a bike I could ride to work and leave parked outside. So, for a minimal investment, I returned it to working order. Brake pads, a spoke wrench to true the wheels, and a seat post that was the correct diameter. I have two spare saddles, so I put the lamer of the two on (again, minimizing my potential loss). After a small investment of time and money, I had a commuter. Here’s the Smoke in its current incarnation.


I love bikes, and I love tinkering, so even after 2 weeks of use, it has been difficult to not make any more changes. It will need a few fixes eventually, like that whack bottom bracket and some back brakes, but for the most part, it’ll do. I really need to replace the saddle though. The current one is a triathlon seat that is so hard that feels like someone is punching me in the perineum when I ride. 2 weeks hasn’t really improved that either, so I think it’s time to switch before it does any damage to my… bike seat area.

Still, its a perfectly good machine again and I’m pleased to have it. Thanks mystery bike santa.