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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mrs. Cranky's Schwinn

Twenty-two years ago my wife got a brand new ten speed Schwinn for her birthday.  Mrs. Cranky is not a bike rider, her husband was, and he obviously hoped she would join in his hobby.  It didn’t happen.  The bike went in the garage and was never ridden…never…ever.

Recently Mrs. C’s ex sold his house.  He had no room to store the Schwinn and so Mrs. C brought it to our townhouse. 

“What the hell do you want with that, you’ll never ride it?”

“Casey (step-crank) says old Schwinn’s are worth a lot.”

“If it was made in the USA, yes.  That bike was made in Taiwan.”

“Still, it is ‘Brand New!’”

“We don’t have room in our garage; I'll trip over it every time I use my car!”

“I’m going to sell it!”

Mrs. Cranky put the bike for sale.  She posted a flyer by our community mail pick-up.  She was asking $65.

“Sixty-five dollars?  You can buy a brand new bike at Target for $65.”

“Not a Schwinn.”

“A Schwinn that is 22 years old.”

The asking price stayed.  I wanted to list it for $30 and sell it for $20, just to get rid of it.  I hate selling stuff to strangers.  I hate haggling over a price.  I hate how the buyer picks on every little flaw and tries to drive down the price.  I just hate the used item resell dance.

We got a call; someone was interested in the bike. 

“They are coming over in an hour, could you straighten out the handle bars and blow up the tires.”

I went to the garage to clean up the bike and got a good look at it for the first time.  The bike was 22 years old and did not have a scratch.  It was a perfect ladies pink, gears and chain still lightly oiled.  It was 22 years old and looked like it just came out of the box.  I straightened out the handlebars, and filled the tires to 50 pounds pressure. 

I had to give it to Mrs. C, the bike was pristine.

“I’ll tell you one thing, you are right about the price; I refuse to haggle.  If they want to pay anything less than $60, I’ll pay it.  I could use that bike to go to the mail box or WaWa’s.”

“I told you.”

The buyers came over to see the bike.  The wife wanted to take up riding.  They lived in our townhouse community.  Mrs. Buyer took one look and stepped on it for a trial ride.  I told her she looked good on the bike (she looked real good on the bike.)

Mrs. B rode down the driveway made a sharp turn and hollered to her husband,

“Pay the folks, I’m going home.”

She rode away with a huge grin on her face.

“That’s $65 right.”

We should have listed it for $75.  


  1. awesome! 22 yrs later, it finally has a rider! and a happy one!

  2. That's fantastic and I am sure that lady is enjoying the bike!

  3. You did very well. You were going to settle for $20. You did very well.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  4. Jeez! Now you tell me. I would have given you $100. ;)

  5. A perfect match. Congratulate yourself even if you could have asked more.

  6. Love your stories. They keep me at the edge of my seat. Had no idea where this one was going but it was fun speculating - and of course, being wrong about the outcome!

  7. It's a fine looking bike. And what's that parked next to it? Your bike?

  8. You've done a "community service". No really. Someone is enjoying her new bike, you got a few bucks in your pocket (figuratively speaking, of course) and it's no longer under foot. That was a fair price too.
    I won't haggle either. There have been times when I've actually "upped" the price after someone tried to haggle. AND THEN I WOULD GET THE NEW PRICE. It's like the Stock Market. Things start to go up in price, and emotions get involved....

  9. Two bad it wasn't an American made bike but it still looks pretty cool. Glad someone bought it who'll appreciate it.

  10. We should have listed it for $75. Ah...the famous seller's remorse!

  11. Glad it sold and sold for better than the asking price :)


  12. SD is obsessed with old bikes at the moment (well, beach buggys really but he cant afford to keep indulging that passion) we have three at the moment in various stages of repair - pretty sure he would have been happy to hand over $75 for Mrs C's.

  13. I have a bike sitting in the back porch, bought with the intention of riding, but the streets here aren't fully flat and I've found I'm unable to ride up even the slightest slope. I'd sell it, but it cost considerably more than what I'd get for it.

  14. I had one from the 1980s and so did my husband. We finally put them in my neighbor's yard during her yard sale. And yes, someone haggled to get both for $25. I didn't care - just wanted them gone. The back doesn't want to bend over that much any more to ride a bike. I think the appeal is the nostalgia.

  15. That is a beautiful looking bike and I would have happily paid $75 for it. I'm looking at bikes now to go bike riding with my kids.

  16. Cha-ching. A happy ending story for sure--bike finds a new owner and they ride off into the sunset together. Ok, maybe just ride off down the street together.