a.k.a. "The Mystery Bike"
Now they know where I live, apparently. This rather beat-up looking Schwinn appeared on the sidewalk in front of my house about three weeks ago. My neighbor (with whom we share a front gate and courtyard), discovered it about 10 o'clock one night, and let it stay there, assuming it would be gone by morning. When it was still there the next day, he brought it up to the courtyard. We've been letting it sit in the courtyard since then, wondering if someone would come by to claim it, and no one has. So this weekend, I started working on it.
It's obvious that this has not been a working bike for some time, so I don't think it was stolen or left by someone who intended to come back for it. The tires are flat and cracked, the front brakes are missing, the shifter cable is messed up in numerous ways, and the chain is completely rusted (and has a cracked link). I'm thinking that someone in the neighborhood was cleaning out a garage or shed, must have seen me working on my other old bikes in my garage, and figuring they would never get any money for it, just left it for me to find.
My plan is to do a mechanical overhaul, replace the tires, tubes, pedals, chain, and brakes, put a rear rack and basket on, and have it be a grocery bike or errand bike for us and the neighbors to share. There are a few eccentricities, as is usual with a bike that has been around. Both the pedals and brake levers are mismatched, the oil cap and some of the axle hardware is missing from the Sturmey-Archer hub, and the cable stop on the shifter cable clip has been replaced (ineffectively) with a 5mm socket wrench attachment.
As you can see in the last photo, the paint is in very poor condition, but it has already cleaned up pretty well with a combination of a light rubdown with penetrating oil, followed by Simple Green foaming bike cleaner (more on that later), followed by rubbing compound, followed by two coats of Turtle Wax. While I finish the Huffeigh, I'll do a few posts about this one, which I expect will go very quickly.
By the way, if by some chance this is your bike, you didn't mean to leave it on my sidewalk, and you happen to read this blog, it's not too late. Just give me the serial number, and you can have it back. The bearings are already greased, no charge.