Found a Prewar Rollfast Bicycle in the Middle of the Woods Today

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The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nov 25, 2018
131
23
North Carolina
Hello everybody. I went out on a nature walk today and encountered something unexpected. A 1930s prewar Rollfast bicycle! I was in a stand of old woods dating back probably to the 1800s. I saw some colonies of wildflowers and I went over closer to take a look. There, amongst the colonies of plants I saw something odd sticking out of the ground, figured maybe some old farm equipment, and there it was, it was an old bike. I would reckon that this bike has been out there for perhaps 60 years. Now obviously, a bike of this sort given its extremely decrepit state is of no monetary or useful value other than perhaps the badge which is still good; but never the less it was still neat to be able to find something like that. Something you don't see everyday!

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Here are the woods.

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Probably the first time its been touched by human hands and stood up since it was abandoned out there. Has an early New Departure Model D Hub.


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Here is the colonies of beautiful little plants growing near the bike. So stripey!
 

Archie Sturmer

I live for the CABE
Jun 13, 2018
1,319
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Looks like the Snyder frame style that Rollfast introduced in 1942; (earlier for Montgomery Ward).
 
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1motime

I live for the CABE
Aug 7, 2019
1,323
WHERE I CHOOSE TO BE
This is the fate of ALL those girl's bikes that have been parted for the sake of their brothers. They never go away. Just rust away forgotten. Got a good eye and now a good badge!
 

The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nov 25, 2018
131
23
North Carolina
Cool yet strange find. Any spring flowers around the area? That's usually a sign of an old house site that is long gone.

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Yes, every typical spring bulb and flower around here in Western North Carolina is blooming, like daffodils and yellow bells and whatnot. And it is doing so earlier than I have ever seen previously; each year has progressively been earlier and earlier for about the last 5 or 10 years. I figure there could have been an old home somewhere there, but there is no trace of it at all. I almost wonder if those are native plants, I actually am working to identify them to know for sure.
 

The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nov 25, 2018
131
23
North Carolina
An update. I have learned that these plants are Italian Arum of Western Europe. So not native, but not invasive. Really pretty, I think I will collect a few plants for around the house, and being as they are non native, I will be able to do this in good conscience knowing that I will not be disturbing a native or rare wildflower. It is bad to collect native plants, sometimes even illegal and rightfully so, but these European ones are fair game! Yay!
 

Euphman06

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Aug 17, 2011
3,168
18064
Cool. Almost definitely a home site if those are non native plants there. Maybe someone settled there who brought some native plants with them to remind them of home. Grab a metal detector, I bet there is an iron field in that area where a house was.

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The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nov 25, 2018
131
23
North Carolina
did you bring it home?
I believe for now I will leave it where it sits so that I can go and see it from time to time on a walk. I question though if there are plans to log that wilderness. I hope not, but there are signs that it could go down, in which case if that unfortunately happens I will bring it home. Otherwise it will almost certainly get demolished if loggers go in. I might get the badge alternatively now, just so that it won't continue slowly weathering out there. Its a little lower on the priority list.
 
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1motime

I live for the CABE
Aug 7, 2019
1,323
WHERE I CHOOSE TO BE
I believe for now I will leave it where it sits so that I can go and see it from time to time on a walk. I question though if there are plans to log that wilderness. I hope not, but there are signs that it could go down, in which case if that unfortunately happens I will bring it home. Otherwise it will almost certainly get demolished if loggers go in. I might get the badge alternatively now, just so that it won't continue slowly weathering out there. Its a little lower on the priority list.
Good choice. Don't want to let all the ghosts out. Does every tree have to be cut down?
 

bobcycles

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 30, 2006
4,802
13
so cal beaches
Crime scene....get a forensic team there immediately.
don't touch anything!!!!!
 
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The Carolina Rambler

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nov 25, 2018
131
23
North Carolina
Good choice. Don't want to let all the ghosts out. Does every tree have to be cut down?
Looks to me like they might take down every tree over 10 inch diameter. Anything of commercial value. I don't really know who's land that is, or if or when the logging might happen, but there have been marking teams and surveyors out here lately. There has been a big logging boom throughout this county in the past few years.
 
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1motime

I live for the CABE
Aug 7, 2019
1,323
WHERE I CHOOSE TO BE
Looks to me like they might take down every tree over 10 inch diameter. Anything of commercial value. I don't really know who's land that is, or if or when the logging might happen, but there have been marking teams and surveyors out here lately. There has been a big logging boom throughout this county in the past few years.
Too bad. Some people think every inch needs to be developed. Enjoy it before it is gone.......
 

Sandman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 12, 2019
123
59
NEW SMYRNA BEACH ,FL
It looks like it may be a crime seen , does the bike have a license attached somewhere ?
 

Phattiremike

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 16, 2016
2,086
Dahlonega Ga.
That's happened to me 2 times once with a pedal tractor carcass and again with a 9' coke sign. Both did not withstand the elements well. I did drag home the Coke sign but it continues to deteriorate the tractor remains went to a friend who restores pedal cars. I'll look for pictures.

-Mike

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Oilit

I live for the CABE
Dec 30, 2015
1,048
Concord NC
Too bad. Some people think every inch needs to be developed. Enjoy it before it is gone.......
The problem is land is taxed on what the county thinks it's worth. You'll get a big tax bill on those trees, whether you make anything off of them or not. It becomes a question of whether you want to spend money for the privilege of keeping what you already have, or do you want to put the money in the bank and just pay taxes on the interest.
A man I used to work with told me that he saw a lot of old farms in the Shenandoah Valley developed back in the '70's, and he couldn't understand why someone would cut down an apple orchard for a housing development, until he found out that it was because of inheritance taxes. The land values were so high that the heirs had to sell to pay the inheritance taxes.
It's like the Eagles song: "And they called it paradise, I don't know why, call a place paradise, kiss it good bye."
 
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1motime

I live for the CABE
Aug 7, 2019
1,323
WHERE I CHOOSE TO BE
The problem is land is taxed on what the county thinks it's worth. You'll get a big tax bill on those trees, whether you make anything off of them or not. It becomes a question of whether you want to spend money for the privilege of keeping what you already have, or do you want to put the money in the bank and just pay taxes on the interest.
A man I used to work with told me that he saw a lot of old farms in the Shenandoah Valley developed back in the '70's, and he couldn't understand why someone would cut down an apple orchard for a housing development, until he found out that it was because of inheritance taxes. The land values were so high that the heirs had to sell to pay the inheritance taxes.
It's like the Eagles song: "And they called it paradise, I don't know why, call a place paradise, kiss it good bye."
The problem is us. Too many people. We are just about everywhere. Too much expectation of having it all
 
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Brian

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 17, 2016
196
51
Mechanicsville, VA, United States
Interesting and cool find!
 
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