A week or so ago, while debating the build on a certain custom bike I've been working on, I stumbled across an almost-new Shimano Deore Deershead half-step front derailleur on E-bay. Given that I'm planning on running a 42-26 ultra compact double (made possible by another sweet score, a TA Cyclotouriste Crankset), I thought the half-step triple would do perfectly.
Nerding out about gear ratios aside, I really just like the way the old Deerhead stuff looks. So I placed a bid on E-bay, and a few days later won the auction for the whopping sum of $15.50! Needless to say, I was stoked on my new acquisition, and to brag about it, I posted a few pictures on the Box Dog Bikes Flickr account.
Shortly thereafter, a complete stranger, one irishpunk59, posted a comment on one of the photos:
"Let me know if you need the matching rear, still have one around."
After a brief back and forth on the internet, and without even being able to negotiate a price, give my name, or learn the true identity of this irishpunk59, a package showed up from Reno via UPS. In it? The matching rear derailleur, and a note reading:
"Here you go, glad it's going to a loving home. Came off an old Schwinn I owned back in Pennsylvania years ago."
The note was signed "Kevin aka irishpunk59".
It's uncommon in this day and age to get something for nothing, especially in the bike world. It seems like everyone is either trying to turn a buck on E-bay, charging way over the worth of some old take-offs, or hoarding that (supposedly) rare gem for the rarer event that someday down the line, they'll have an even rarer era-specific frame to put it on. Few and far between are the times that someone simply hands you something (or pays to ship you something) and says, "Here. Take it. I'm not using it."
So thank you for being one of those rare and special people, for whom the worth of an object is its use and not its purported value. Thank you for making a very special person in my life very happy. Thanks for helping me to regain a little bit of my quickly diminishing faith in the future of the human race.
Thank you Kevin, aka irshpunk59 from Reno.
Whoever you are.