One of the beautiful things about the fixed-gear bicycle, you often hear, is it’s simplicity. No brakes. No fussy derailleur adjustments. It is the bicycle, distilled to it’s purest essence. Or is it?
We might ask: How pure is it possible to make a bicycle? Well, if you leave your bike out in the wee small hours of the morning, evidently, it is possible that your bike will indeed be made very pure — so pure that it ends up less of an actual bicycle and more of … I don’t know … more of an idea:
Bummer. The cool Panasonic fixie conversion got more or less ravaged, it looks like. It was spotted on 13th Avenue, over in front of Cafe Soriah.
The really weird thing, though, is that two days later I passed by again. Nothing much had changed, except that a second U-lock had been added to what remained.
Far be it from me to deduce what is going on here.
Anyway, over the course of four or five days last week, I noticed that the part-strippers seemed to be out and about town. (All of the photos in this post were shot from Jan. 24 to Jan. 27).
Here’s a purified Giant, spotted downtown.
And there was this Specialized:
It’s odd what they take, isn’t it. I mean, if you are going to go to the trouble of unscrewing the pedals, wouldn’t it be almost as easy to just pull the cranks off altogether?
And in this case, the front brake and front derailleur apparently didn’t interest them. Go figure. And look what else they forgot:
These valuable ball bearings, apparently spilled out of the headset.
And then over by Oregon Art Supply:
I don’t know about you, but any time I had an opportunity to abscond with a milk crate, I wouldn’t pass it up.
Anyway, it’s all pretty low if you ask me. I actually had this happen to a mountain bike I owned back when I was attending the University of Arizona. I was on campus late one night, working on some project. A couple of friends who were with me decided to head home and, as they left the building, interrupted two guys who were in the process of liberating my brake levers and shifters.
They did escape with the levers and shifters. But who knows what else they had designs on. It probably could have been much worse. The bright side is that this allowed me a good excuse to upgrade to Grip Shift (which were a new idea at the time). The bad news is that, man, you feel violated and pissed off.
So watch where you leave your bike in the middle of the night.