“Pristine lightweight vintage 14-speed Schwinn Traveler built for speed & ready to ride. Comparable bikes listed on EBay for much more. 100% of proceeds will be donated to @shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation addiction causes families.”
This was the text of the listing on Facebook marketplace when I sold this bike. The previous owner was a man I met when our kids were in preschool. Rob was a caring dad, involved and engaged in all the ways that we suburban parents think we should be.
You can tell by looking at Rob’s bike that he was a guy who liked adventure. This bike says “take me on the road.” The handlebars and their extended grips convey long distances up and down the rolling Hills of the Delaware Valley. It was immaculately kept. I had to do very little to bring it back to fully functional. One of his sons kept it for a while afterwards. But in the end, it wasn’t really the right bike for him and the circumstances of it’s vacated saddle were too much. Not the right fit. And I imagine too much anger. Too much grief.
Rob lived with Crohn’s disease and chronic pain. The nature of his job made access to opioid pain killers a little too easy. As our kids got older and went in different directions, I did not stay very connected to Rob and his family. I did not know the extent of his downward spiral until after his death. He lost his family first. I don’t know if he lost his job. I don’t know the circumstances around his overdose. I just know that he was a regular guy with a lovely family and that addiction was his demise. You wouldn’t look at his bike and think “there’s a guy who’s gonna die from an overdose.”
When his widow gave me the bike to rehome, it only felt right to invest the money in helping someone else.
With some research, I selected shatterproof. I don’t know if they are the right organization. I don’t know for sure if their approach saves lives. I might have made the wrong choice. But if they save somebody else’s husband and father, then it will be Rob that saved that guy’s family.
* his name wasn’t really Rob. Everything else is true.