Wilf’s Dead, Baby. Wilf’s Dead
I killed Wilf. Through neglect, lack of understanding, and over-use. But mainly through not knowing how to use a steel ruler to measure the chain.
OK, I’m exaggerating a little. But the cost of the components to restore Wilf to health would have been about 75% of the cost of buying an identical brand new bike. Or somewhere around 45% of the cost of the bike I actually bought. But more about that later.
So now Wilf’s gone to a better place. A place where there is life after death for bikes.
Based in Byker (geddit?), Recyke Y’Bike is a charity that recycles bikes that have gone beyond their first owners’ needs. They accept donations of bikes in any condition, and then do one of three things to them:
- The ones in best condition are serviced and sold. The money raised is used to tackle the barriers to cycling in the North East of England, and . . .
- To send the next best ones out to Africa, where they are fixed up locally and used
- The ones in poorest condition are stripped of useful components (for use in the above) and the remainder recycled or sold as scrap metal.
I’d never been to Recyke, and it was like walking into an Alladin’s Cave - bikes of all ages, in various stages of being fixed up, unusual spares for all sorts of bikes, and a bunch of very helpful people. Sadly, the 40-spoke, alloy rim 26 x 1 3/8 rear wheel that they’d thought was in the corner couldn’t be found for me though . . . But I live in hope!
So there you have it. Wilf lasted me just shy of three years, we did somewhere over 3,000 miles together, and he’s now gone on to a new life. They have the spare parts at Recyke Y’Bike to rebuild the drivetrain and rear wheel, and assured me that they’d find someone who’d give him a good home, and love him as much as I did: