Monday, September 27, 2010

Kids Bike Donation Part One

IBC has another couple kids bike donations coming up. Once again we'll be working in conjunction with Nicole Freedman, The Boston Housing Authority, and Mayor Menino's Boston Bikes. The first step in the process this time around was to do a complete inventory of trade in bikes to see what we had available for donation. As the trade in bikes come in over the course of the year, the bikes don't — how can I put this lightly? — get put away on any particular sort of order. They get put in piles, huge piles. And they become entangled, horribly entangled. Bars through spokes and pedals through frames and training wheels through everything else. I hate training wheels. They do nothing to teach a child to ride properly, all they do is allow the child to pedal as fast as they want with no eye toward steering or balance. It's like teaching a teenager to drive by having them jam down the gas pedal while ignoring the steering wheel. That, and they are a terrible tangling and tripping hazard.

Speaking of hazards: during a kids bike wrangling session in the warehouse, you will smash the ever-living bejesus out of your head on one of the 2 x 4's comprising the shelves at least three times. The first time you go "I saw that comin'. Well now that I know better I should have no problem avoiding hitting my head on anymo — WHACK! AAGH! CRAP!" The first two usually occur close together and the third time usually occurs after you've let down your guard at the end of the day and you're all tired. That one's the worst, you're lurching along, hunched over like Quaisimodo, dragging two 16" wheeled bikes across the floor, and you don't quite duck quick enough or long enough and WHAM! At that point you just want to fall on the dusty floor and cry.

But when all the curses were said and all the untangling was done there were 190 bikes deemed ready for donation.

There are hundreds of kids bikes up in the IBC warehouse right now, when I go up there I feel like I'm walking into the last scene in Raiders of The Lost Ark. Sometimes I get all creeped out.

And then I see these things sitting up on the shelf and I completely lose it. I know that vampires use Thule Atlantis 1800's for travel coffins. Seriously, watch the video below:

Luckily I've got James Morrison and Peter Bradshaw up in the warehouse to keep me company a lot of the time. That's Embrocation Cycling Journal headquarters right there (below). Pretty glamorous eh? Funny, James and Peter were sitting right there, I wonder why they didn't show up in the photo? Come to think of it, I've never seen them outside when they weren't all smeared with embrocation, and they do wear a lot of sunblock. I hear they're even into night time cross races. Two skinny, veiny dudes, two travel coff— I mean Thule gotta start to wonder.

Although there are scarier things than vampires in the IBC attic, things like this this:

You stopped screaming yet? Then take a look at this:

I can't pinpoint what year the above pictured Mantis hails from. I think it should jump back into the hot tub time machine it came out of, but hey, if you're into it you should call IBC Newton and offer them something for it. Or maybe if you're a member of the Fearless Vampire Killers you could offer to exterminate the inhabitants of the warehouse in exchange for this vintage monstrosity.


33rd Degree Bison said...

Joe will never, ever sell his Mantis. I've asked. He keeps it around for reasons unknown.

Also, there are scarier things than vampires in Thule boxes. See Lady Gaga's video for Bad Romance. Vampires would almost be preferable to whatever's going on there.

mark phelan said...

the mantis is a 1995. i worked in boston when we bought it and built it. there was a red one that never got built that hung out in the rafters in boston that i wanted soooo bad.