Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

23 June 2012

You Won't Find Wah Chu Need For This Bike Here

While riding to an event at Grand Army Plaza, I found something very interesting:




 This machine doesn't vend sandwiches, ice cream, soda, cupcakes or, ahem, a substance that are legal only in a few states, and only for medicinal purposes. It also doesn't vend fishing bait.   Believe it or not, I actually saw such a machine in Angouleme, France, when I took a bike tour from Paris to the sea at Bordeaux.


The machine in the photo vends bike parts.  At any rate, it offers the stuff people need most often:  inner tubes, small bottles of Tri-Flow and such.  It also offers the caps and T-shirts of the organization that operates it:  Time's Up.


It's located, appropriately enough, in Williamsburg, literally in the shadow of the eponymous bridge.  Next to it is a "receptionist".







In case  you're not from Brooklyn, "'Chu Need" translates as "What do you need?"  I grew up with people who asked me "Wachoo need?"  I guess "'Chu need?" is a contraction of that.


I'd love for someone to teach that in an ESL class!


Now, if what chu need is a part for this bike, you're SOL:




I saw this cute Astra mixte--which, I would guess, is from the 1960's or early 1970's, at a sidewalk sale in Park Slope, just doors from where I used to live.  The shape of the twin laterals is beyond cute:




Here's how it looks at the bottom:












Time's Up's (Strange locution, isn't it?) machine might have an inner tube that fits, but not much else you could use on this bike.  So, if you're restoring this at three in the morning, you're SOL.  To be fair, you'd be in the same situation if you were restoring a 1972 Peugeot PX10 and needed a chainring or a 1969 Cinelli and needed a spring for your Campagnolo Record derailleur.


For the record:  I didn't buy the bike, or anything from the machine.  On the other hand, I did buy some tasty things--including foccacia and sourdough bread--from a Farmer's Market.  Also, I had what is probably the best ice pop I've ever had, from People's Pops, which are made from locally-grown fruits.  I had the plum and sour cherry pop; other options offered were blueberry with herbs and strawberry rhubarb.

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