Selling Old Yeller

Old Yeller... 2001 OCR 3

It never ceases to amaze me how much sentiment we can ascribe to inanimate objects. Makes you wonder if our interaction imprints some kind of energy such that the next time we interact with it, we recognize it on some unconscious level. And more, it recognizes us. Guess that’s why it’s hard to sell things you really like.

Add to that sense of connection hundreds of hours and thousands of miles, and it can be pretty hard to let go of a bike. But it was time. My 2001 Giant OCR 3 wasn’t doing me any good sitting in the garage. And it’s always been too small for me – I just didn’t know that when I bought it, so it doesn’t really make a good back-up bike. And seeing it sitting there, unused, not putting on any miles… somehow it just didn’t feel right. It was time to find a new owner.

But you don’t just get rid of a bike. You have to show it decent respect. It’s been with you through the deadly heat of summer, and the tornado-force winds of spring. The icy blasts of winter and the debris-laden streets of fall. So, I cleaned it up. Spent three hours going through every nook and bolt to clear out the dirt and grime. Shined it up – maybe not like new, but definitely not like it’s 11 years old. Replaced the handlebar tape, and made sure everything was tight and functioning. Took some nice pictures, and then sent out an e-mail to the team in hopes of finding a good home.

You might be able to make some money selling off your old bike. But unless it’s relatively new, or really damned expensive when you bought it, I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t worry so much about making a buck. Remind yourself of the experience of riding your first, good road bike. Of taking a turn faster than any bike you’ve ever owned before. Doing your first 20 mile ride. Your first 50… your first 100. Then think about the cost of that first bike you owned.

Wouldn’t it have been nice if you didn’t have to pay quite so much to get into this sport that you love so dearly (or at least, enjoy more than piloting a coach)?

Me and my humble steed, morning of my first mass event ride - 2010 MS-150.

Helmet, clothes, gloves, shoes, bikeit adds up quick. It’s no wonder there aren’t a lot of younger people in cycling these days. How can they really afford to enjoy it without a full-time job to pay for our outdoor addiction? Well, that’s where we come in. I sold this bike pretty cheap – $150, with frame pump, saddle bag, extra tubes, and both SPD pedals and shoe-cage pedals. Now, $150 ain’t exactly free; I didn’t give it away, but it’s about half of what it could’ve fetched, and about a fourth of a comparable, new bike. I was more concerned with finding it a good home. A new owner that could be introduced to the joys of cycling and maybe, just maybe, end up with a life-long passion.

In the end, I sold it to my buddy Neal, who had borrowed it for most of 2011. Given that he’s the one that bought it, I felt a little stupid taking so many pictures and doing a detailed spec write up that took over an hour (he sent me a text within 10 minutes of getting the e-mail). He already had a brand new bike, but he wanted to buy it for his daughter, so she could start riding. To know that it’ll go to a good cycling home, and that it’ll help bring a father and daughter more quality time? Heck, I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.

Happy trails to my OCR 3. Thanks for the rides.