Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

Most road cyclists are quite obsessive and possessive of their road racing bikes. The obsessive part is reflected in the cleanliness and careful maintenance of a nervous and twitchy race machine. The possessive part relates to our riding experiences on a particular bike, often over a period of many years.

I am not really attached to material possessions, like a road bike, as much as I am attached to the memories behind an object. The pictured Cannondale La Grange road bike has been my trusted friend and companion over thousands upon thousands of kilometres since roughly 2002. This particular bike has travelled all over two prairie provinces in Canada (Saskatchewan and Alberta) and several places in the US. My fondest memories of riding this particular stallion took place in the mountains of Montana near Hamilton, MT. It was there that both man and machine were put to the test by climbing mountain passes that would put a strain on even a motorized vehicle.

GPS track of my favourite cycling routes near Hamilton, Montana.

Alas, it was time to put this stallion of a bicycle out to pasture. You see, for every new bike I bring into the stable, one must go out. This is the agreement I have made with my spouse so many years ago. Currently, I own four road bikes, each with a different purpose and function in mind – but I can NEVER own five bikes at any one time. Luckily for me, “the woman” said nothing about how many 700c wheel sets I could own 😉 For the recreational cyclist, having four bikes in the stable would be considered superfluous and a questionable expenditure at best.

For a Diehard Roadie, that is nothing.

I have a friend that has approximately eighteen high quality road bikes hanging in his highly secure, alarm and video surveilled, bunker called a “garage”Jay Leno would be jealous. Unlike me, his collection of rides dates back to the early eighties, and he has kept nearly every bike he has ever purchased. By comparison, I have sold ALL of my bikes, at one time or another, since I started road riding and racing as a teenager in the late 1970’s. One of those bicycles, a high end early 1980’s Bianchi equipped with a Campagnolo group, I seriously regret selling to this day. Today, that particular Bianchi is considered to be a highly collectable item worth many times its original purchase price. Many years ago, I sold that Italian Stallion to my nephew for a ridiculously low sum of $600 Canadian dollars, only for him to have a high speed head-on crash with another cyclist, on a bike path, one week later. The frame and fork and some of the components were totalled and was eventually sold for parts.

Ouch! That still stings a bit.

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