Saturday was a busy day full of errands around town—to the library, to Paris Farmers Union, and, most important, to the transfer station. As we were putting some metal in the huge outside recycling bin, we both saw a bike leaning against the bin. The bike was red, an L.L. Bean bike, with a bit of rust on the handle bars but otherwise in seemingly good condition.
Clif and I looked at each, and “Shannon?” I asked. Our daughter does not have a bike, and where she lives in South Portland, there are biking opportunities galore.
“Maybe so,” Clif answered in his Yankee way.
As we looked at the bike, one of the workers stopped as he was driving by in a truck. “You want that bike?” he asked.
“I think we do,” Clif answered.
“Just stop by on the way out and pay $5.”
Five dollars? How could we go wrong? Clif took off the front wheel, and we loaded the bike in the car.
After going to the Transfer Station, we delivered returnable bottles to our friend Steve Knight, who is collecting them for his Heifer Ark Project. (His goal is to collect $6,000 in returnables.) I’ve written about Steven before, but in brief—Steve is a scrounge extraordinaire who makes it his mission to recycle and find usable “trash,” not only for himself but also for friends. Recently, he has scrounged paint for friends and wood for a chicken coop that he is certain his daughter will want to build one day. (I’m sure she will!)
Was Steve impressed with our find? You bet he was, and he slyly implied that if we weren’t vigilant, then that bike would disappear from our car while we talked with his wife, Margy.
On a more serious note, Steve also told us that when he retires in a couple of years, he wants to devote a good deal of his time to scrounging and recycling. (Right now Steve is a chemistry teacher at the high school.)
Clif and I smiled and admitted that when it came to scrounging and recycling, Steve was our mentor. I said, “We frequently ask ourselves, what would Steve do?” And I wasn’t entirely joking.
On the way home, we discussed the bike. Clif has been a biking enthusiast since he was a teenager, and repairing this bike does not daunt him at all. Our goal is to put no more than $50 into it, and if we achieve that goal, then Shannon will have a pretty good bike at a more than decent price.