Well it finally happened. After 22 months, 8,515 miles, dozens of event rides, centuries and metric centuries, I said adieu to my trusty two wheeled steed. I knew this time was coming, and I had been planning for it for a while, but it was still bittersweet closing the chapter on my Trek 1.5.
Orca, as I named her when I purchased her back in September, 2010, was a wonderful bike. She and the sport of cycling, became an integral part of my being, making me a better, healthier and stronger person. Together we racked up enough miles to travel more than a third of the way around this little planet of ours, all the while making great new friends along he way, but, although my love affair with her is still strong, I was well aware that her capabilities were quickly falling short of my abilities and needs.
The time had finally arrived to move on to a more exotic beast, a thoroughbred per say, that could take me to the next level and beyond. A machine designed to be riden hard at speed, transferring every pedal stroke directly to the road. A machine with extraordinary handling and flawless shifting while still providing comfort and stability for long hours in the saddle.
My search for a new machine started in ernest a few months back when I passed a weight loss goal I had set when this odyssey began. I started researching all the big popular cycling companies like Trek, Cannondale, Specialized and Giant, as well as the smaller, more exotic builders like BH, Bianchi, Colnago, Pinarello, and Willer. The shear number of bike builders today is impressive (just look at the 25 builders listed off to the right), all offering extremely exotic rides running the gamut from a few thousand dollars to well over 15k! My choice was not going to be easy.
I had my eyes set on many drool-worthy machines like the Pinarello Dogma 2, which is usually reserved for the high Alps in the Tour de France (team Sky rode Pinarello in their total domination of the Tour this year), but reality would always set in after looking at their stratospheric prices. I’m not stingy mind you, just very practical, after all I do not ride for a living, nor will I be scaling any hors catégorie mountains with any regularity, especially living in Florida. Practicality without giving up anything in the way of performance would guide my choice.
What is the successor to my beloved Trek 1.5… I’m going to keep it a secret until the next post! After all, this post is in honor of Orca.
So what of Orca? My original plan was to keep her and convert her into a touring/bad weather bike thereby observing rule #12 of the Velominati Rules which states “The correct number of bikes to own is n+1”, (where n is the number of bikes currently owned). Knowing myself all too well, Orca would remain hanging on the wall collecting dust indefinitely, a fate which she did not deserve. Orca was made to be ridden, not be a decoration on a wall, so I reluctantly put her up on the market, secretly hoping there would be no interest in her.
Not one hour after posting an ad, a small flood of email started to come in requesting more information and an opportunity to see and ride the bike. By the following morning there were nearly 30 emails awaiting replies, and I had five people scheduled to come in before noon for a test ride! Orca was turning out to be very popular, rightfully so, as the Trek 1.5 is a great road bike.
It did not take long to find Orca a new home, as an active couple with a background in mountain biking and running bought her on the spot. It was a little bittersweet helping put Orca on their bike rack, but I was excited at the same time that someone else would be able to enjoy my two wheeled old friend.
So in the interim, I have a vacancy on my garage wall that will shortly be occupied by a sexy new machine. Until then, I’ll be logging some miles on the elliptical machine and perhaps, just possibly, I might even run a little (don’t hold your breath on that one).
Goodbye old friend. May your new owner rack up many miles and find just as much happiness in the saddle as I did.