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.