Monday, June 22, 2015

Remembering an old bike

I stopped for a shot of espresso at Ride Studio Cafe towards the end of my Saturday early morning ride and saw this Trek 520 touring bike in the shop.  I first heard about this bike on Hub Bicycles' twitter feed - a 31 year old bike with miles still to come, many miles.  Emily built up new wheels, including a dynamo front wheel, and now Joe, the owner was adding a dynamo headlight.  He is also looking at racks for his first tour on this bike and future randonneuring events.  I shared his enthusiasm for this bike.

I happened to buy this exact model, a 1984 Trek 520, in early 1985 in preparation for a 2000 mile tour from southern Vermont to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and back.  That bike also carried me around New England on a going away tour (before moving to the midwest), across Colorado on the Adventure Bicycling route, around the Olympics, including a couple of camping trips with the bike hidden in the forest, around the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec, and a host of shorter trips in Wisconsin and around New England.  If my experience is any indication, Joe will have a lot of fun on his bike.

So, you might ask, what happened to my 520? I no longer have it. It was, unfortunately, badly sized for me (22.5 inch seat tube, which is too big for me), something I noticed when I bought my first racing/road bike, in 1997.  I did my last tour on it on Labor Day weekend in 2001, riding east from Machias to Lubec, Maine with a friend.  It saw use as some friends, visiting for extended times from other countries, needed a bike and was last used by a friend visiting from the UK, who set her best time in a triathlon with the 520, averaging 20 MPH, something I never managed on it.  And it was too big for her as well.  After that triathlon I donated it to Bikes Not Bombs and maybe someone is still riding it.

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