Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ye Olde Junque Yarde

I have a buddy, named Mark, with whom I do the occasional "horse trade", bike-wise. He has been going to a metal salvage yard, north of here, for a couple of years now, buying bikes from the scrap man. I have avoided the deal, for the most part, because the scrap guy is hard to deal with, and wants too big of a commitment in order to give you a decent price.

When the guy is buying bikes, they're scrap metal. When he's selling them, they transmute into fine collectibles, apparently.

Yesterday, I finally went with Mark to check out the "piles of bikes" and see what I could find. Now, when I think of "piles of bikes", I think of a situation like my storage building, where there are a few too many bikes for the space allotted to storing them. At the scrap yard, "piles" means just that: PILES.

My God! I've never seen such a thing as what was awaiting me at the scrapyard.

This is the first pile we dug around in. This pile is probably 30 feet on a side, and Mark's feet are ten feet off of the actual ground, where he is standing. That is a full-sized beer delivery truck in the background, and the top of the pile is higher the roof of the truck trailer.

This is the same pile from a different angle. There are lots of Huffys and Magnas, etc., but there are alot of older road bikes, and quality mountain bikes mixed in. The killer is, you'll see a bike you want to rescue, but it's five feet down in the pile. I left a lot of stuff behind, which I would otherwise have run with. You tend to get picky when you know it's going to take 20 or 30 minutes of hard labor to dig an old Peugeot out.

More of the same pile. There's so much stuff there, I just couldn't get a picture which gave you a decent idea of the scope of the thing.

This is looking down into a pit we had dug to drag out a bike. You can sorta see the ground in one spot.
After exhausting ourselves on this batch, we moved into the warehouse and dug through three piles in there. It was way too dark to take any pictures. I found some keepers, though, then we moved on.

Our next step was one Mark had never taken. We climbed a couple of rickety ladders to access the roof. The old guy who runs the place had said there were some bikes up there. Mark and I were, literally, stunned to speechlessness when we saw what was there. Laid out in neat rows, where we could actually see them, were hundreds of bikes.

It's hard to tell, but there are 6 or 7 rows of probably 100 bikes each. Again, there was a preponderance of Huffys, etc., but there were some prizes, as well.

I took this series of photos to just show the scale of the operation. The airplane cockpit/fuselage had USAF markings. I might try to figure out what sort of plane it was, later.

Just past the red trailer is the beer truck beside the first pile of bikes we were on. There are two more piles visible in this pic. If Blogger chooses to enlarge the picture, you'll be able to see them more clearly. (I don't know why, but sometimes pictures will enlarge, sometimes they won't.)

Here, I'm lowering the bikes to Mark, who is at the top of the lower ladder. From there, I handed them down to him while he was on the ground.

This is how we got the bikes to Mark's place. In this picture, we had already unloaded Granny's rocking chair. Seriously, I don't know why we didn't take my truck. Just didn't, basically. We were only planning on getting 7 or 8 bikes, but having two people to dig through made it easier to find usable bikes.

These are the ones I brought home. Tomorrow, I'll post pictures and details on them. This post is already picture-heavy and possibly too long to be interesting.


At 10:58 AM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

It looks like you may have found bike builders nirvana,maybe it's only a pile of scrap to some but people in the know see the treasure buried in the bottom of the heap.It kind of makes the local co-op(which also has large piles of bikes with hidden treasures,albeit SLIGHTLY more organized and inside), pale by comparison.I am looking forward to seeing what you picked up tommorow.

At 11:25 AM , Blogger katina said...

That is a butt-load of bikes. I made shawn come in from the other room to look at the pictures.

At 11:34 AM , Blogger Shawn said...

So that is where bikes go to die! It almost brings a tear to my eye.

At 8:41 PM , Anonymous red light green light said...

This is, most likely, the coolest thing that I have ever seen in my life!

At 7:14 AM , Blogger getinlost said...

Where, pray tell. Is that mecca?

At 8:07 AM , Blogger Jon said...

It's not too far north of the old Children's Hospital. I couldn't really tell you how to get there, because I rode in the car with Mark, and I didn't really pay a lot of attention to the streets.

At 2:36 PM , Blogger getinlost said...

I found it. York and East 43rd.

I posted a satellite photo on my page.

At 6:49 PM , Blogger Will Handsfield said...

Great post, I am tempted to ask where that is, but part of me knows I don't need any more bike frames, at least until I weld the Performance and Free Spirit frames in my backyard into a tall bike.


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