Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bikes Outside: Non-friction at the Library

This Monday's Bike Outside was in good company among a handful of rides locked up at the Hartford Public Library on Friday afternoon. While all bikes in attendance were of the fat 26" tire variety, this particular Mongoose had some key features to set it apart from the rest. You see, this bike is all about taking it up a notch. While some mountain bikes have front suspension, this one has dual suspension. While some bikes are a little beat-up, this one is really beat-up. While many Hartford bikes have one missing brake, this one is missing brakes front AND rear. There's something to be said for that kind of thoroughness, and that something is "Aaaaiiigh!!!! No Brakes!!!!"

I had to dodge a guy barreling down the sidewalk on a brakeless mountain bike as I was walking down Capitol Avenue a few weeks back. I'm pretty sure this is the one, as I recall a flash of white and a remnant of V-brake jutting out. The rest of the moment was obscured by my life flashing before my eyes and fighting an overwhelming urge to give chase and administer a vigorous dope slap. While fisticuffs might have satisfied a certain knee-jerk instinct of anger/self-preservation, It likely would have ultimately made things worse. Not being threatened with immediate bodily harm on Friday afforded me a clearer head with which to seek out a more positive solution.

While I was at the library, I procured a piece of scrap paper and some adhesive tape. I wrote a short note that I intended to tape to the bike, directing the bike's owner to a couple of inexpensive sources for some brakes. Alas, the Mongoose was gone when I returned to the bike rack. I tucked the note into my tool bag on the off-chance that I see the bike again soon.

If the owner of this bike happens to be reading this, I encourage, nay, urge you to go to the Urban League's bike shop at the corner of Woodland and Sargent. They are open from 4-7 PM Tuesday-Thursday. They have a box full of old brakes, some of which will fit your bike. I'll even pay for them if you don't have spare cash on hand (provided you come on a Tuesday). Also, get off the sidewalk. Thanks.


Kerri said...

I think you sprung ahead by a whole day instead of an hour. Well done!

I'm not sure what the problem is with the lack of brakes. Apparently some kids spend hundreds of dollars trying to achieve the same effect. Maybe your sign should tell him to try selling his bike to that subculture.

Erik Jorgensen said...

The brakes were probably removed because the wheels are bent.

Interstatement said...

Aww nuts! I guess I did spring ahead by a day! That'll show me to pre-write my posts. The no-brakes thing only works (marginally) on a fixed-gear bike. This one is not so much a fixie as a "brokey"

The bent rim hypothesis makes sense, though I didn't look at them closely. V-brakes are fussier about rim truth.

Kerri said...

I don't know, Interstatement. I'm going to throw the same advice at you that you gave to Brendan re: photography -- this rider has brakes: his feet.

Cully_J said...

Maybe it lacked brakes because it was fixie?!?!;)