A Free Trike for Ike

 My 2.5 year old son, Ike, is a huge ball of energy. He's the type of kid that would be happiest if we lived in a log cabin in the middle of the woods; he'd be the type to traipse off to go exploring multiple times a day, climbing trees, chasing squirrels, etc... But alas, we live in a small apartment with no yard, so his energy needs to be used up somehow, which is why I try to take him out as much as possible to play outdoors.
I wanted to get a bike for Ike, but he's too little for a regular bike, but is the perfect size for a tricycle. We just didn't want to spend the cash to buy a trike...

Fortunately, with a little bit of "getting our hands dirty" and grabbing opportunities, we managed to get this working trike for Ike. Completely for free.


Well, first we found this in the dumpster. It seemed in pretty good condition... other than missing a seat.

Yea, missing a seat is a big deal. Ike tried to play on it a few times without the seat, but trust me when I say it doesn't work.
We were looking in dumpsters left and right, trying to find another trike or other kid's bicycle that people were throwing out, from which we could steal parts, but no such luck. I even walked into a bike repair shop, but they so happened to be out of spare seats when I walked in...

Finally, about to give up, I posted on facebook, totally going out on a limb, that I'm looking for a seat for a tricycle, if anyone just happens to have a spare one, or if they know where I can purchase one.
Now what's the likelihood of that?
Turns out that my close friend within walking distance from my house just so happened to have a trike seat sitting in her yard from her son's old and broken tricycle; she said I was welcome to have it; to her it was just junk.

Here's the lovely seat.

Now, how to attach it was a bit of an issue, as the trike and the seat didn't have anything attached with which to connect them.

My husband hunted through his tool box and just so happened to have this long, thick screw and washer.
The hole in the trike seat was too big for the head of the screw; a washer was necessary. Unfortunately the washer we had was too small, and we had no nut for this screw.

I walked over to the local mom and pop type hardware store to purchase a bigger washer and nut, and found some that fit easily.
When I went to pay, the total price came out to be 25 cents, but since I only had a 20 dollar bill on me, the store owner didn't want to bother with giving me the change for that, so he told me to take it for free. (Not that I would have minded paying 25 cents at all. :D)

I attached the seat by putting the smaller washer on top of the bigger washer, then placing it over the hole in the seat. I put the screw through the washers and the seat, then into the hole on the trike, and attached it with the nut at the bottom. I tightened the screw and bolt with a socket wrench and some pliers so it was tight enough so the seat no longer was able to swivel. (Ok, confession, my husband did this part but I could have done it- he just found the socket wrench first.)

Here it is- the trike, all ready to ride!

I love free things.

I love dumpster diving.

And I have to say- when it comes to frugality, sometimes you have to grab an opportunity even if it isn't perfect, then wait a bit until another opportunity comes along so you can make that first opportunity better. This is especially true when dumpster diving. You can dumpster dive something missing parts. Just keep looking and looking until you get the parts you need to complete the project.

And then you end up with a very thrilled little boy and a bike that actually works now, without paying a cent.

What was the last thing you dumpster dived?
Would you dumpster dive something that was missing parts, in the hopes that you'll get the missing parts eventually, or would you not bother?

Linking up to Frugal Friday, Frugal Days, Sustainable WaysAllergy Free WednesdayReal Food Wednesday

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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