Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My $5 Ride

I got a message last week that on Saturday the University of Washington Police would be having a bike sale. Their website said that the sale started at 9 am so I was in line at 8:50 the waaaaaay back of the already long line.

As the line inched forward I watched people emerge with 2 and 3 bikes each, mountain bikes, hybirds, hey was that an 1970s Raleigh Olympian? whoa nice Peugeot Mixte!  Apparently getting there 10 minutes early was 20 minutes too late.
The space formerly filled with bikes was emptying fast.  In what may have looked like a mad scramble to the uninitiated I executed a hard target search of the immediate area and found my prize.....of sorts
Hey for a 5 spot its worth it just for the parts and dammit I didn't spend my morning coming here in vain! Don't even think about a test ride however....
At least I was better off than arriving at 9:30, as I waited in another long line to pay for my prize things got even emptier and emptier....
One cool thing about this whole deal is that with everyone buying bikes that needed "a little TLC" conveniently  just a block away is a great bike shop dealing with new and used bikes and parts -Recycled Cycles and the folks were lined up down the block to get some love for their new purchases.

Ok so what does this awesome $5 find look like?  Well its a Raleigh Reliant which appears to be a USA made entry level bike with Suntour components and at no extra charge a extra helping of rust.....

Oh did I mentioned some urbanite converted this to a hybrid straight bar commuter?    Or that the once soft suede saddle was cracked and dried out? And a Reliant? was this some sort of unholy co-marketing with Plymouth?

My original thought was that for $5 I was getting a SunTour drive train and a wheel-set at the very least, and then I thought well I can do the whole down the frame refurb rebuild back into a road bike option, but my last idea was to do a "stealth commuter" as in make it mechanically sound but not too cosmetically nice so it would uninteresting to bike thieves but solid mechanically and great for the commute.  More to come on that subject.


  1. Looks like bike-rescue is a popular avocation for your neck of the woods with the crowds!My parents had a Reliant, I'll bet your version will turn out nicer!!

  2. Actually I think the lure was getting bikes on the cheap, the rescue part is sort of a side benefit ;-) I might have to see if Lee Iaccoca will endorse this bike on Craigslist...

  3. Brothers! I have been out of touch due to recently being captured by white slavers and forced into manual labor. I just now escaped long enough to tap out a quick message. I once owned a Plymouth Reliant. Ouch!

    That five dollah deal was worth it for the shifters alone. Sorry for my recent un-reliant-ness. I am dwelling on the fly. Watching, though, always watching...


    1. Good to hear from you TJ hope those slavers are at least paying you. No worries about reliant-ness post when you can. My Folks owned a Pontiac Ventura were still hanging onto when the K-Car era started, turns out the Pontiac was the last Detroit passenger Auto they owned, all Mazdas and Nissans after that but my Dad did have a mid 80s Chevy S-10 pickup for a long while.

  4. Geez, what a cheapskate. The bike I'm fixing up now cost SIX dollars... (way more impressive).

    Lotsa fun changing an old bike from yard sculpture to an actual rider. Think I might do it more often.

    Enjoyed the read.

    Steve Z

    1. Big spender! Are you going to have some pics of that $6 project?

  5. So this sale was a bunch of bikes probably abandoned by university students? Nice!