The thing about Knickers is that it’s virtually impossible to be around him and not learn about bicycles. Before I met Knickers, if you were to ask me what sort of bike I had, I’d have told you, “red.” (Now, I’d say, “which one?”) I know my headsets from my bottom brackets, my track bikes from my road bikes from my downhill bikes to my commuter bikes, and the real reason cyclists shave their legs.
And most of all, I know, can’t forget, say it in my sleep sometimes, “if you find a pre war schwinn at a garage sale, buy it no matter what they’re asking because it’s worth more than they’re asking because if they knew what it was worth they wouldn’t be selling it at a garage sale.”
Repeat that until you’ve got it down.
Ok, so moving on.
A couple of weekends ago, Knickers and I went to the estate sale of a man who used to own a bike store. It was run by his sister, who as I looked through a collection of old jewelry, told Knickers there was one more old bike inside.
I walked in behind Knickers, just in time to watch him almost have a heart attack.
In the hallways was a pre war schwinn track bike. With wooden rims and everything.
Knickers told me later if she’d asked a price that he could afford, he would have bought it, and not told her what it was really worth, but I know him too well. He’s too honest for that.
He asked her what she was asking for it, and she said rather proudly, “I’ve been offered up to fifteen hundred for it, and they said to let them know if anyone offered me more.”
Knickers laughed and said, “I bet they did.” He went on to tell her to times that number by ten or twenty, or donate it to a museum, because this wasn’t just the most valuable bike he expected to lay his eyes on, but the rarest.
He said that since he couldn’t afford fifteen hundred, he was ruining it for everyone else out of spite. But I know him better than that.
The woman seemed touched, since she’d thought she could trust the people who’d offered her fifteen hundred or to top her best offer, and here a perfect stranger was helping her not get ripped off.
She wouldn’t take money for the necklace I wanted. And it’s one of my favorites now. It’s a mood pendant, with a little capricorn goat. I could really care less about my sign, but hello, goats are cute! It’s red when my skin is cold, and green when I’m warm.
And most of all, it reminds me of all the lovely things that can only happen when you surround yourself with lovely people.