Goodbye, old friend
0 comment Friday, May 16, 2014 |

In a bizarre twist on Monday, two days after the publication of my Dirtbag Diaries podcast about my red Trek and how it changed my life, I discovered a rather noticeable structural problem:

After almost 2 1/2 years of meritorious service, the steel frame finally broke clean through just above the bottom bracket lug. I don't know how this happens, but it occurs to me that I probably expect a lot out of a bicycle, and this is the effect of mashing on the pedals every time a stoplight turns green.
This is about on the same emotional level as my family dog dying. After I discovered the break, I immediately called Nick B. He stopped by my office, and we had a family meeting of sorts on the back porch, standing there looking in disbelief at the bike. We basically decided to take it off life support at that point.
My co-worker, Chris, has been trying to sell a Surly Cross Check for a couple months. I, of course, was not interested, as I had what I considered to be the fastest, toughest city bike in Denver. Now I was really interested, in the frame, anyway. We discussed a price, and I agreed to buy it.
My idea was to strip the Trek and put as many parts as possible on the Cross Check frame, so I got to work taking components off the Trek on Monday. By Monday night, I had everything off but the cranks, all the parts sitting in a pile on my desk in my office. I was sitting there with grease and dirt all over my hands, feeling like I was dissecting the family dog before I buried it.

Then I popped off one of the cranks, started on the other one, and was pretty deliriously going through the motions when I realized I had stripped the threads on the second crank with the crank puller. Shit. I wouldn't even have a clean frame to hang up.
Tuesday and Wednesday I spent, during little two-minute breaks at work, switching cassettes, seats, seatposts, pedals, and removing cyclocross brakes from the Cross Check, redoing the brake cables and bar tape.
By Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., I had a new bike. When I took it for a spin, it felt smoother, lighter, maybe faster, but longer, too wide and maybe in need of a new bottom bracket. I'll get used to it. Maybe replace that bottom bracket, the cyclocross bars and the seatpost, maybe the stem, and it will fit better. Definitely not like my old Trek, though.

A funeral for the 1989 Trek 330 is tentatively scheduled for 5:15 Friday at The Thin Man.

Labels: ,