Saying goodbye to a bike

Every couple of years, I have to let go of a bike. I don’t like doing it, because I love my bikes, the type of love that is not necessarily healthy. Take, for example, the Specialized Crossroads that’s been hanging in my garage for the last 2 years. We bought it about 15 years ago when Sue wanted to get back into cycling. It was a nice hybrid bike that she could use to pull the kids around (“kids” who are now 21 and 17 years of age) in a trailer or on a trail-a-bike. It served that purpose.

Then, Sue upgraded to a nice carbon-fiber road bike; then, she upgraded to an even nicer carbon-fiber road bike. So the Crossroads didn’t get much use–until I used it as a “snow bike.”

In Milwaukee, they drop a lot of salt on the roads during the winter months, so if I want to ride a bike in the winter (and I do), I have to accept the fact that the bike will rust out within a year or two. That’s what happened to the Crossroads. I bought studded tires for it and road it through 2 Wisconsin winters. As a result, it rusted to the core. I was literally riding it to work one day when the crank disintegrated.

But I couldn’t let go of the bike. I hung it on a hook in the garage and would often look at it and consider parting it out, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Finally, yesterday, I decided to put the Crossroads out in front of our house, which means that anyone who comes by can have it. It was gone within a matter of hours; hopefully, it will turn into someone’s bike project. Or at least someone’s recycle.

I did take the studded tires off of the bike before letting it go. I’m going to give the tires to Will, my future son-in-law, so he can safely ride his bike through the upcoming winters.

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