From Zero to Two

I was over in Ypsilanti today, taking the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification at Willow Run High School, and had almost three hours between the morning and afternoon sessions. So I went to explore Ypsi, where I haven’t spent that much time since we moved here a year ago.

Driving down a street, I noticed a garage sale and a couple of bikes. On a whim, I stopped and saw a dark green Raleigh M30 mountain bike, dusty and a bit worn, but apparently in excellent shape and in the right size and everything.

I asked the nice lady how much and she said, ‘Fifteen dollars.’

I said, ‘Fifty?’

‘No, fifteen. One. Five.’

‘Will you hold it for my while I run to the ATM?’


Back in five minutes, I handed over the cash and took the front wheel off and loaded my find into the Jeep. I went to the afternoon session of my test, then went home to rest the arms.

I’ve now had a chance to look over the $15 special and am pleasantly surprised that it’s a pretty good bike. The seat was worn on the edges, but she had a new one in the original package that went with it, and it’s a very nice gel setup. I’ll need to swap it out and it’s ready.

But there is a problem with the crank; I’m not sure I can fix it, thanks to my weak arms. But I took it for a test drive and, with the exception of the wonky crank, it performed beautifully. Tires, brakes, shifters, pedals, chain—everything is good.

I spent the last hour fooling with it and cleaning it up. Other than the crank situation, it’s ready to hit the road. I’ll just have to figure out that problem and Frank and I can bike together, if the mood hits.

So, in the space of a week, we’ve gone from no bikes to two (plus one still marooned in San Francisco). Yay!