Tag Archives: Trek

Busted, but not broken

Note the MacIveresque use of my Camelback's rip cord to try and keep the rear shock attached to the seat tube.

Optimism. It may be the most important weapon in my training arsenal.
Yesterday, I was at Bruegger’s, bragging to my buddy Jason about how durable my mountain bike has been. About how it began life as an aluminum-frame Trek Fuel 70 a decade ago. About how it’s gone through three frames and how I’ve replaced, from wear, everything but the handlebars (I don’t ride hard, but I do ride a lot). We’ve been quite happy together, my Trek and I. Knock on wood? Bah! The notion seemed insincere.
Two hours later I was standing on a remote section of a remote trail staring at my rear shock absorber hanging from the frame’s broken seat tube. Not a time for debilitating pessimism.
I wasn’t overly concerned because Trek has been good in the past about honoring the lifetime frame warranty. In the past, Trek has been great about replacing the frame under the lifetime warranty. It’s not, however, an overnight process; the last time the frame broke there was an aluminum shortage and it took nearly two months to replace — which they did, with highly-coveted and significantly more expensive carbon.
Pardon me for a moment for a quick sermon. I bought the bike from The Spin Cycle, a shop that epitomized customer service and supporting the cycling community. When we bought our house in Cary, I can’t deny that it’s proximity to The Spin Cycle (2.3 miles) was an influencing factor. I bought three bikes from the shop, and every time I tried to do my own maintenance and repairs, they were always there to fix my mess (with nominal commentary). When I broke my frame the last time and it was apparent there would be a longer-than-normal wait, they gave me a loaner. When I opened the email on a cold January day in 2009 announcing The Spin Cycle was closing, I rushed over to offer my condolences. (And, I should note, get a great going-out-of-business deal on a headlamp.) I’ve continued to support — and benefit from — The Spin Cycle’s lineage. I take my bikes to Spin Cycle wrench Matt Lodder, who went on to start the Cycle Surgeon, and after getting my broken bike out of the woods and onto the car rack Monday, I took it to the Trek Bicycle Store in North Raleigh, owned by former Spin Cycle manager Jeff Roberts. Cyclists like me who need a strong support network, which describes the majority of us, wouldn’t be riding were it not for local bike shops. Think about that the next time you go online to save 50 cents on innertubes. Amen.
My only concern, standing there Monday with my crippled cycle? (Make that my main concern; there was still the matter of finding my way out of an unmarked trail network, then covering five miles on gravel forest road back to the car.) I have a race in less than two weeks and, a) this was supposed to be my last week of hard training (a week I desperately need) and b) I, um, was now short a bike.
Deep breath.
I knew I wouldn’t have my bike back in time for the race, which is in 11 days (though I was pleasantly surprised to later learn that the bike, new frame and all, would be ready in two weeks). No, problem, I thought, I’ll just borrow my stepson’s (a Gary Fisher niner, a hardtail but lighter and faster than my ride). It didn’t matter than Ben’s bike needed some work and probably wouldn’t be back from the aforementioned Surgeon until Friday at the earliest: I could still get in some vital training miles on my road and cyclocross bikes. And it didn’t even matter that it’s supposed to rain all week because — and this, I’ll admit, is pushing my optimism — I have a trainer. A couple of two-hour sessions on that thing will make anything, even the Off Road Assault on Mount Mitchell, the race I’m training for, doable. And really, with my skill set and physical set up, doable is plenty fine.
Optimism. It may not trump training, but from what I’ve heard about the challenge of ORAMM I best bring it with me to the start.
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