Yesterday, after Labour Ready, and during some errands, something came up...Fred, is a bike, an oldish GT Windstream, that Donald the Chopper King had found in an alley somewhere, circa 2000-2001 or thereabouts, and gave to me. Which I immediately, in those heady days of yore, commenced to turning into a chopper. At some point, I had welded a nickel on the headtube as a headbadge, as the nickel, which had fallen of a parking meter, in front of The Grind, which the bike was locked to, into a little shallow traylike thing, where the kickstand was supposed to go. The nickel followed my merry bouncing bike ride all the way to Donald's, revealing itself when I had turned the bike upside down. I was so excited by this, that I demanded that the nickel be welded onto the headtube.
I rode the bike for many years-it was a good, solid ride, fast. I also paintede it a new colour apparently every other day.
Around five or more years ago, I was moving from Nanaimo sky train station area, to a compton style apartment west of hastings somewhere. Literal crackhead landlord, bullet hole in the window. Fun. Had to downsize. So, Fred had to go, a hard choice of what to keep was made. Fred had been stenciled on the bike in an idle moment.
Naturally, I'd all but forgotten the bike named Fred, having come into possession of some fairly decent bikes. So, there I was, yesterday, strolling up the alley, and, in the corner of my eye, I espy a nice black bike. "That is a nice black bike," I had thought to myself, "Perhaps I shall check out this nice black bike"
So I did. Upon closer inspection, consisting of grabbing with intent to carry, as it had no wheels, I suddenly realized, hey! My old ride! It still had the same crank, a piece of blue plastic wrapped around the upper chainstay, that was present when I threw it out, and yes, the same welded nickel. Even the black tape wrapped around the trannie converter (a tranny is the old cross bar, made out of sheet metal, that in the sixties, weas used to convert a girl's bike to a boy's bike. I'd used this one under the top tube.).
And of course, the same blue stencil-'Fred'. So named, because guys usually try to come up with cool street cred names for customized bikes, and I would have none of that, so I figured Fred was as good a name as any. Nice, solid, manly name.
I wasn't immediately freaked, but that it was only two blocks from where I currently live, well, I realized that the bike had followed me, faithfully, from nanaimo skytrain area (specifically, that empty lot up the gravel path beside the skytrain that can't be zoned for anything but empty lot.) over several years, to within a very short distance from my current hideout. It was then that I was pleasantly freaked out, and decided that if the darn thing was so determined to be with me, then henceforth, a neat chopper ride it shall be. The blue plastic will be removed, of course, but the rest of the bike shall remain mostly intact. With lot's of neat additions, an artbike chopper, if you will.
Fred's here to stay, and Fred shall be it's name, a tough old chopper by anyone's game, it's claim to fame, small though that is, the remarkable wee coincidences surrounding it's frame.
I wonder what cool adventures it's had? Where it was, all those years? Why it was left intact? How it got from thar, to hyar? One thing's for certain, Fred will be back on the streets, as soon as it's rebuilt!
to be announced
explorations in writing
- the story of Fred