24 January 2016

This Made The World A Little Smaller

It is indeed a small world.  (You can add the "after all" if you like.)

And, yes, technology makes it smaller all the time.  

Case in point:  eBay.

I have bought and sold all sort of things, most of them bike-related, from and to people in Canada, England, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy,the Czech Republic, Slovenia,Japan, China and Korea as well as places in the United States I'd never heard of until I encountered them on what's been called "the world's largest garage sale".

Occasionally the interaction involves more than just the sale or purchase of something.  I have had exchanges about people's names (including one with a customer who just happened to have the same name as one of my favorite poets), hometowns or some aspect of cycling or local culture.

My latest such interaction, though, is one of the most interesting.

I sold a nice Nitto stem that, I finally admitted to myself, I'd probably never use.  It was not the right size for a current project.  Perhaps one day the "right" bike or situation would come along--but when?

I kept it mainly because it's a Nitto (Each of my bikes except my LeTour have at least one item from that company on it!) and because it's interesting. It's one of a brief run of TIG-welded chrome-moly stems Nitto made in the early '90's.  Of course, being a Nitto, the welds were much cleaner, neater and  less bulky and blotchy than on other welded stems of that time--including those of pricey after-market stems like Syncros and Control Tech.  The stem I sold is probably one of the few welded stems that wouldn't look out of place on a vintage road  bike.  

The fellow who bought the stem e-mailed me.  He said he received the stem and left nice feedback.  Then this: "I noticed the name on the shipping label.  Are you the gal with all of the Mercians?"

It is a small world indeed!  

P.S.  This is not the first time eBay has "outed" me.  A couple of years ago, a fellow bicycle blogger (whom I read regularly) also connected my eBay ID with me when he saw my name above the return address on the package I sent.  


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  2. Ha! I saw that stem, or one just like it, on ebay and was tempted to bid on it. Unfortunatly, I didn't have a specific bike project for which I could use it. It would look great on a Vintage Bridgestone. In fact, there's an MB 0 Zip that I'm watching. It was powder coated green and has a couple dings in the chainstay. And I need it like another hole in the head, but it would be an interesting restoration project.

  3. MT--I agree that the stem would look great on a vintage Bridgestone.

    Do you ever tell yourself, "This resto project will be my last"? I do, and for me, saying it is like making a New Year's resolution!