Essay: On the Parting of (Bike) Ways
Cover photo courtesy of Mike Maney Photography. Be sure to check out his work; he is a fellow cyclist in the Bucks County cycling community with multiple KOMs to his name.
The mystery bike never featured in creakybottombracket.com content – the bike that carried me over 10,000 miles – was put up on craigslist.com. Within hours, the bike was sought after and within days it was traded to a new member of the cycling community. I was never a fan of the bike, but I had to seek quick reassurance from the Missus that selling it was part of the plan.
Part of the plan was dishing the bike off years ago. I kept the box to increase the allure of the package. I wanted it to say Look how serious this transaction could be: I have the box, too! Then the machine folded itself into my life. It was my workhorse after dealing off the time trial bike. It even watched as the mountain bike was rolled off to an eager buyer. Under an oath of a can of suds, a mechanic known to us traded his services to assemble the bike into a functional device and the rest, they say, is history. How quickly the plan unraveled.
If I’m honest, this particular bike never felt like home. It was an afterthought of circumstances. To have it hidden from the content was on purpose. With regards to this example, it was never about the bike. Considering its faults, it was hard to have a crush on the steed. Many wheel sets could not fit within the frame. Tires wider than the skinniest rubber would rub, especially when tremendous lateral force was exerted on the carbon. It was like the company, supposedly known for race frames, forgot riders would want to put decent wheels and tires into the mix.
Still there was a sense of sadness to roll it over to the next rider in its life. It may not have been the perfect bike but it was mine. It was paid for. It took me over numerous Hell of Hunterdons. It occasionally set sail on some of the long flat roads of the northeast. It was my weapon of choice to stand upon the summit of Whiteface. And I finally bested the beast in Saugerties, NY, the one and only Devil’s Kitchen climb.
For the time being I am borrowing a bike from the Missus. I will be the bloke riding around on a nine-speed cassette for the next handful of weeks. The new rocket shouldn’t be in town before Memorial Day. It is hard for me to gather whether it will be love at first sight or a ho-hum feeling. Rest assured, the new devices on the bike will be a learning curve; I figure in a spoonful of reticence as I wobble out onto the flagship ride. Who knows? Maybe on another trip to the Catskills or even up Whiteface I may ride down a familiar looking bike and, upon pulling parallel, realize my old bike is being used. And to my satisfaction, the rider is enjoying everything about the moment.