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Old 12-13-2007, 10:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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MetroMPG's "Pirate Bike"

Allow me to present the Pirate Bike.



This 37.5 lb beauty got its name from this summer's "Treasure Hunt Day" - our city-promoted semi-annual junk fest / waste reduction program where residents place stuff at the curb they don't want any more for anyone to take away free (as opposed to putting it in the garbage or taking it to the dump).

It was plucked from the in front of a house around the corner. (Actually, it was leaning against a tree, so I knocked on the door just to be sure before riding away with it - the guy gave me the impression I was nuts to have asked.)

And in fact I couldn't ride away with it because the chain was rusted solid, as were the headset bearings (couldn't turn the bars easily). Nothing that couldn't be sorted out in about 45 minutes with some WD40 and patient working back and forth of parts.

It came with the lock on the top tube, too. Took me about 35 minutes to finally pick it (one of those simple 3-number rotary combinations).

So for the grand total of an hour and a bit's worth of tinkering, I had a "new" beater bike to ride around town and resolutely NOT lock up. And 1130 km later (of mostly sub 8 km round trips) it still hasn't been stolen!

Underneath the spray-can fluorescent green paint (previous owner) is a vintage Norco, about 20 years old - one of the original mountain mikes.

---

Once I got the Pirate Bike working, I retired my previous beater bike (also a Treasure Hunt find) by listing it, appropriately enough, on FreeCycle:



This 30 year old Raleigh went to a woman who was tentatively looking at getting back into doing a little bike riding after knee surgery, but didn't want to commit by spending any money.

---

And of course I also moved the custom hitch from the Raleigh over to the Pirate Bike so I'd still be able to pull around my home made bike trailer!



(Is it a bicycle trailer or a cargo trailer for a bike? I never know what to say.)

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Old 12-13-2007, 11:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice find. I found my first road bike like that. Had a small crack in the top tube. It was pink and I got about 5000 miles out of it before the crack made it unsafe. The pirate looks like a big bike, did it fit you OK?
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It is big, but not unmanageable. Tippy toes.

I probably put about 4000 km on the red Raleigh. A cracked top-tube would have sidelined me pre-ForkenSwift. But I know how to braze now.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That's some whacky frame geometry on the pirate bike. The headtube angle is amazingly steep, those old MTB's are funny that way.
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 51.27 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
Last 3: 66.97 mpg (US)
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I have the impression that there's no difference from the 10 speed / roadie frame of the same vintage. I think they just stuck on different cranks, wheels, bars & seat.

And fortunately the rims are aluminum, so they wont rust up like the Raleigh's steelies did from constantly being in the elements (and salted winter roads).
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 51.27 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
Last 3: 66.97 mpg (US)
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Stolen!

STOLEN!

The pirate bike has been pillaged!

I join the sad and growing ranks of EcoModders who have had their various types of transportation taken. Nearly four years of riding this thing around and never locking it, I was confident that it was immune to the covetous glances of velocipede villains.

Seriously, only a drunk person would have taken it. Probably just a case of "grab, ride & dump".

I'm hoping it'll turn up soon in a creek or in some bushes. Don't want to wait until the next garbage day to replace it!
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has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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condolences
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about your loss.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 51.27 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
Last 3: 66.97 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,519
Thanked 5,432 Times in 2,777 Posts
Ha! Thanks.

I had a look around the neighbourhood - found a fresh one in the creek (not mine).

Also put the word out to my cycling group and got a tip of another abandoned bike seen in a park. Located it too, and turned both bikes in to the police station while filing a report on mine.

If karma exists, maybe it'll pay off!
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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



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has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I had a knee-action Schwinn stolen once. It looked like hell though ("rat" stuff hadn't been invented yet) so once they saw it in the light they must have decided they made a mistake. It turned up a few days later. That was the second bike I had stolen.

I've had lots of other stuff stolen too but haven't been lucky enough to get any of that back.

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