Some folks hoard Gold. Some folks hoard Silver. Me, well, I hoard aluminum. Not just any aluminum but only the finest extruded, billet, and cast aluminum made. In other words, I have a fine collection of bicycles, broken down with their plastic and steel parts discarded. In buckets, bundles and boxes I have stashed and organized oh, maybe a 1000 pounds of the shiny stuff.
Jim of Jim-Jim insists I should cash out now. I know my wife would love for me to. She long ago gave up ranting about my collection and now just suffers in silence. It would make sense to haul it all down to Punsky Scrap Iron & Metal in Sanford and bring home some folding money. Yeah, it would be the logical thing given the price per pound my stash of shiny bike parts would bring.
When I started hoarding these bike pieces, their value was so low, the collection seemed just another dumb Mike idea. 15 years ago, the price of clean extruded aluminum might have been say, 40-50 cents per pound. With each rim weighing in at approximately a pound, I was sure it was worth the effort. Or would be at some future time.
I started bringing home the tired and broken wheels from the shop and cut their spokes and hubs out. Hubs went into a bucket labeled "Irony Al", the spokes went into the steel bucket to take to the dump for disposal in their steel container, and the rims were carefully flung into the pucker next to the house. Several hundreds of wheels later and the small portion of my collection you see up at the top is the result.
Who's laughing now? The price is well over $1.25 per pound today and even if I take a hit by having someone pick it up, I stand to clear around $600 easy. Quite a bit more if I find and organize all the other alloy parts I have scattered hither and yon.
But is my collection about the money? The fact I have not cashed it in after 15 years would indicate there are other factors about my collection that must be considered.
There is the collecting mindset I need to be cognizant of. That once this collection has been discarded, what will I fall back on to get my fix? What group of things will I latch onto that will satisfy an urge I have carried with me since I can remember. I long ago gave up trying to fight this urge. I know something will have to take it's place......... That jar of pennies could use some topping off.... Hmm.