Hello from Iraq

Discussion in 'Mountain Biking' started by IRONCLAD, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. IRONCLAD

    IRONCLAD New Member

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    I am a bike rider here in Iraq.

    Here is a picture of me on my bike and ready for combat.

    [​IMG]

    This picture was taken just before a mission. Instead of walking to my Gun truck, I ride my bike to her.

    So far, I had to replace:

    1. I'm on my second seat.
    2. I'm on my third tire.
    3. I'm on my second back wheel
    4. I'm on my fifth chain
    5. I'm on my second sprocket.
    6. I'm on my third bike tube.

    I've had this bike since July of this year and it's been down more days then the days I've rode it. This bike is an Iraqi bike and it should have went to bike heaven, but I needed a bike and the Iraqi teens went home and brought me this one.
    Yes, I could have gotten rid of the bike, but it's part of a story now and I can't get rid of it now.
    Plus, I may just ship this bike home when I'm finished here.

    Here's the amount I've sent on it since I've owned it.

    1. $90. - buying the bike used.
    2. $25. - new seat.
    3. $35. - new tire and wheel.
    4. $15. - new tire and tube.
    5. $10. - new chain.
    6. $20. - repairs
    7. $15. - bike helmet
    total: $210.

    Wow, this was the first I put this amount together and I've bought a lemon.
    BTW - the bike is back in the shop tonight, due to a chain breaking again. That will not cost me anything this go around.

    This picture is of the Iraq teens and me.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  2. Xela

    Xela New Member Tavern Member

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    Wow! Great to have you! Thank you for what you do!
     

  3. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Younger than Hack Tavern Member

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    Sweet bike. If it were me, I would hand it off to whoever replaced me and buy a new one when I got home. Sounds like that one would nickel and dime you to death.
     
  4. mtndoc

    mtndoc New Member

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    Bring the bike home, put it in the shelf so you can look at it....then go out and get a new one...

    Welcome to Two Spoke.....

    DrB
     
  5. TxCyclist

    TxCyclist Administrator Staff Member Admin Staff

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    Great story. I assume bikes are real popular in Iraq?
     
  6. IRONCLAD

    IRONCLAD New Member

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    Thanks folks for the warm welcome.
    Dean - Not really, well at least what I've seen.
     
  7. Smiley

    Smiley New Member

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    Hey and welcome! Thanks for all that you are doing for our country! Great pictures, thanks for sharing your story with us.
     
  8. IRONCLAD

    IRONCLAD New Member

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    Well, I'm now up to $240 on repairs with my bike here.
    I was also told I need lights on the front and back of my bike if I want to continue to ride my bike in the dark.

    I lost another back tire during Chirstmas, so I was without for a couple of days. Now, I'm just waiting on my lights to come in from the town next to us here.

    Just a couple of days ago, we had an I.E.D. blow up next to one of our gun trucks. No one hurt and no real damage came to the gun truck, so we were able to roll soon after.
    So far our "convoy set" has conducted over 25 missions and we only had three attacks to our "set". We came out looking good all three times.....knocking on wood.
    Bad guys "0" Good guys "1" - meaning out of the three attacks, we were able to kill one of the enemy by an unmanned plane.
     
  9. CTD50

    CTD50 DX's Biggest Member

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    Man, I'd like to yank the bike I gave my ungrateful brother out from under his creaky @$$ and send it straight to you! As it sits right now, it's probably worth about $700; X.7, 9-speed rear, disc front, full suss, sized for a six-footer.

    It would be the least I could do for what you do.

    From an old soldier to a new one....
     
  10. IRONCLAD

    IRONCLAD New Member

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    CTD50 - Hey thanks, that's sure means a lot. I am about to go home anyways. I was riding the bike today from the motor pool and I shifted to a lower gear to climb a hill and the gears on the back tire within to the back spokes and tore the hell out of the gear box. The bike is down again, but in three days the iraqi teens will have back up again. I think in the six months I had the bike, I'm at break down number 16.
    I don't get mad about it anymore, I just laugh and took it to the shop. Everyone here can't wait to hear that bike is down again.... it's like a running joke.
     
  11. IanHighfield

    IanHighfield New Member

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    IRONCLAD: Yours is my favorite post to read. Love the war zone photos not for the war but the sense of place. Can't imagine being in that kind of environment.

    Couple of questions: Is the bike of Iraqi manufacture? or is it just a bike you picked up while in Iraqi? I guess I was wondering if the Iraqi's actually have a bike building industry of some nature.

    You listed parts worn out. Are the chains wearing out because of the abrasive nature of the sand that must get into everything or are you just a mad rider putting in crazy hard miles?

    Lastly, I'm a Brit but was wondering if there is anything me, or anyone else on this forum could do to help you with your situation? I'm not sure if it's a good idea for you to publicly post your contact information online or not. Maybe the mods could advise us or you could give us advice. Security and all. I just look at you and your young Iraqi chums and feel some common bond. Maybe we could mail you a set of tyres or cables or bits of some kind. Many of us have loads of bike parts laying around doing nothing. Perhaps you and the lads could use them. It's a thought. Just don't want to get you or anyone else in trouble of any kind. I'm not familiar with military protocol relative to mailings or even your feelings on the idea.

    Keep sending photos when you have a moment and keep your head down. You seem like a lovely man.

    P.S. Was wondering if you've ever fired a rifle or handgun while on the move with your mountain bike? Something about that appeals to me. Old western movies of cavalry charges I guess.

    Just noticed you mention coming home soon. That's got to be better than any set of knobbies we could send you. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  12. CTD50

    CTD50 DX's Biggest Member

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    One more note:
    Stay "IRONCLAD", my friend! Come home well, as I wish you all would.
     
  13. IRONCLAD

    IRONCLAD New Member

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    Thanks for the kind words.

    The bike is made from "all places" China. I got the bike from a near by town. There are Iraqi teens who work here from that town. When I first arrived here, I asked for a bike; so the teens picked one up at their home town. It was a very used bike. I guess I was trying to bring it back to life.

    There is no sand here in Iraq, just mud. This whole country, but the south part has nothing but dirt and when it rains....it's mud everywhere.

    Oh, I'm putting in the miles with the bike, but I'm not a crazy rider. Can't, not around here. I just use the bike to take me to the Chow hall, my unit's office and anywhere I need to go.

    Thanks for the thought of sending me some parts for the bike, but I'll be leaving here in a few weeks. All mail to us has stopped. We will be heading to Kuwait in a couple of weeks and then head back to Iraq for a couple of days, just to head back to Kuwait. Thanks for the thought though.

    Nah, I've only shot my weapon at the range here at this base. I might have to just run by the range on my bike and shoot my weapon on the move. My luck, I'd fall off the bike and break something else on it.
     
  14. Smiley

    Smiley New Member

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    Weird how I always thought that country would just be sandy desert. With NO rain. So you are not coming home then? Back and forth from Iraq to Kuwait, does not sound appealing. Stay safe!
     
  15. Burr

    Burr Cranking Old Guy

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    Fist Up.

    Doing good, enjoy your time and get out of there.

    You a lifer?

    What's you trade? in the world?
     
  16. IRONCLAD

    IRONCLAD New Member

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    Burr - You asked me what my trade is? I don't think I understand the question fully.

    Smiley - I meant to say there is sand in Iraq, but for the most part, it's in the South area. Baghdad and Northern Iraq is nothing but dirt/mud when it rains.

    The second trip to Kuwait will be to head home for good.

    I have some more pictures, just waiting to have them up loaded to my account.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  17. IRONCLAD

    IRONCLAD New Member

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    [​IMG]
    This one was taken today at the swap-meet with the locals who came onto our base.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Burr

    Burr Cranking Old Guy

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    Work, what are you trained to do other then fight?

    In my day everyone learned a trade. I was a cop
     
  19. IRONCLAD

    IRONCLAD New Member

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    Well, I'm a Police Officer back at home as well as an Armored Car Messager.
    When I get back, I'll be the training officer for my department.
    Plus, when I get back, I'll be going to about four schools for the Military Police. I will also be going to many schools with my Police Department.
    So, this next year I'll be busy as hell with schools.
     
  20. Burr

    Burr Cranking Old Guy

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    Good hang in there.

    WATCH THE LOCALS !!!!!!!!! Watch it!

    Have you are can you get the dry chain lube?