May 19, 2006

Compacting Thievery

On Monday, I was an excited Compacter, having acquired a wonderful new (used) vacuum cleaner. On Thursday afternoon I was equally enthused, having bartered a new (used) laptop into my home and subsequently passed on another computer to a person in need. "Wow, this is easy," is what I was thinking around 3:00 PM. Then I went to my last class of my undergraduate career.

So we geography seniors thought a fieldtrip to a Mission bar would nicely round out our semester. I rode down on my bike, of course. By drink 3, someone had jacked my seat, one of the finer components of my favorite bike. Along with the seat went the mount for my rear light. I always check on my bike, and my frustration upon discovering this theft led me to consume drinks 4 and 5 rather quickly.

Despite the drama, I maintain that compacting is easy, and as pointed out by a friend, leads to good product karma. A classmate, Joey, happened to come to the bar in a friend's car- for reasons still unclear to me, Joey kept his bike seat in this friend's car. I gave him my graduation tickets, for his saddle! This seat carried him across the country, and might still be on my bike when I head to Mexico this summer. So far it seems like a nice saddle, though it lacks suspension and the nifty little tear that mine had from one of my more explosive accidents.

I do admit that I am really really struggling to not buy the perfect saddle. I hate the seats on my other bikes, and it's an incredibly important component of any great bicycle. If I break on this one, I'll let you know. No promises, as of yet!

10 comments:

the Prince of Thrift said...

I seen an article about you thanks to FrugalForLife.blogspot.com. As she said, this idea needs to be expanded to other cities. Like her, I also wrote about you and how I already buy 2nd hand...I don't own anything new...my site is DebtFree4ever.blogspot.com.

If possible I would like to exchange links. Is that acceptable with you?
- Kevin S. (kevinsview)

Soni said...

I'm thinking you could justify a new saddle under health and well-being expenses. Bike riding is an excellent source of exercise (in addition to being good for the planet) and crappy seats mean less riding. Also, poorly fitted, padded, sprung and shaped seats are clearly and demonstrably linked to all manner of injuries and long-term issues down the road, in areas most of us protect rather fiercely in other circumstances. You don't want to be regretting permanent (and potentially expensive) reproductive injuries later in life because you didn't want to break a principle.

Compacter's have health allowances for shoes, since walking in bad shoes destroys feet. I thing the same logic should apply to bike seats of those who ride as a regular means of transport.

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Ariane from NeatLiving.net said...

I also think you can justify this expense for health reasons, but also because you would be contributing hopefully to a manufacturer who is part of an industry that provides an alternative to automobiles! Now the trick is to find a saddle maker with sustainable eco policies, and if you are PETA oriented that doesn't use leather.

p.s. I also posted about your group in my blog at

I really admire what you are trying to do!

cd said...

A great source of excellent condition, second-hand saddles is local bike shops - often people will "upgrade" or "downgrade" from their new bike's stock saddle - most shops keep a bin of them, they are often unused, but definitely second-hand and sold at substantial discount.

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Anonymous said...

Yeah, I definitely think the health allowance would apply here. I've ridden on a bad bike seat before. Yeowch.

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Yvonne in Houston said...

I think this idea is great. I actually started doing this myself, to some degree, mid-2006. However, I do have a question, or rather I'm seeking advice from someone who may have faced a similar situation - while this is wonderful for me - how do you go about getting your children to go along with this idea (I still have one at home who's a Sr. in HS and leaving for college next fall, and he's still growing!) Comments from Parents/Guradians/Caregivers - with similar situations appreciated!

Angela said...

There's so much crap that I buy without even thinking about whether I could get the same thing used. Thank you for making me think!

I was going to buy a saddle rack for the back of my bike, but now I'll look for one on freecycle. I don't use that group nearly enough.