Archive | February, 2013

R.I.P. Pinky

26 Feb

In my life I have owned many bicycles. MANY bicycles. Of all those bicycles only two really stand out from the rest. This is the story of one of those bikes.

The Cannondale R3000

The Cannondale R3000

In college I worked at Highroller. In those days I knew more about riding the bike than I did about the actual bicycles themselves. I had been riding product that was pretty far beneath the level of riding that I was doing at that time. As a graduation present to myself I decided to buy myself a brand new bike, and I would spare no expense in it’s build. The year was 2001 and in those days Cannondale was the best bike in the world. Period. The highest quality aluminum expertly welded by American craftsmen. It didn’t get any better than that.

Handmade in the USA

Handmade in the USA

For the upcoming model year they were making a special color run of pepto pink in the R3000. The bike boasted; a caad5 frame with integrated headset, first generation Ksyrium wheels, and a full Shimano Dura Ace build. I knew that I had to get that bike.

Over the next three years I rode the wheels off of that bike. I was probably the fastest that I have ever been during that time in my life. We raced together, trained together, traveled the country on paved and unpaved roads. I truly was happy on that bike. Eventually as my knowledge of the industry grew I became aware that I needed to try out some other bikes to be able to sell them. I started down a long and winding path of bikes. I was definitely a man whore for bikes. I rode every type of material and brand I could get my hands on. I never let go of that bike frame though. It was always close by. Occasionally, if i was between bikes I would build it up and ride it in the interim.

When I moved back to AR from TX in 2007 I was fortunate to work at Highroller again. I was working on my house alot and not training much. The R3000 got built up with a full Rival Kit from Sram and I began to use it as my main bike again. While riding one day I noticed that my lower pulley on the rear der was really tight. No big deal, I thought. I finished my ride, parked the bike at the shop, and walked home for the night. The next day I walked to work in the morning. At lunch I hopped on the bike and was headed up the hill to my house for lunch. I had forgotten about the pulley. About midway up the hill and mid pedal stroke the pulley failed and lodged the chain. It was too late to react and the Der ripped off and was pulled into my frame and cassette.

photo4

The end. A bike with a dent that big in aluminum so thin is a no go for safety. I held onto the bike for another year just hoping that a magical fix would be revealed to me. I knew it was useless, eventually, I had to say goodbye. Last week my cherished frame made the quick transition from high performance racing machine to very expensive wind chime.

You can see the angst in my face. As I commit to the inevitable.

You can see the angst in my face. As I commit to the inevitable.

Awaiting its next life.

Awaiting its next life.

Thanks for reading,

Branton

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A Little Late. But still cool.

20 Feb

The snow outside today is keeping people away from the shop so I don’t have much to keep me busy. This weather keeps me thinking of cyclocross and the recent world champs that were held in Louisville KY. I recieved this report from Clay Crymes.

Here is his report:

My Cyclocross World Championships, or So Glad My Phone Died.

I have been to several professional sporting events and even a few pro cycling events such as the tour of Colorado. But nothing could have prepared me for the drama we were going to experience at the Cyclocross Worlds in Louisville Ky. I also don’t think anything could have prepared me for the amount of bourbon we would consume.

For people who follow the sport of cycling it is often described as beautiful. The worlds were truly that. beautiful. The gentle snow against the roar of a frenzied crowed made the war that was going on between the racers feel like the scene from Braveheart where William Wallace throws the sword. The bourbon however made me feel more like the opening scene from the hangover.

What no one really reports is how even a 45 yr old guy when meeting a cycling celebrity such as.. Pat Mcquid, Ned Overend, Jeremy Powers, Ryan Trebon, Zach Mcdonald, Sanne Cant..etc.. etc… TOTALLY NERDS OUT. Like a 14 year old who saw his first boob nerd out. Since all the races were condensed to the one day due to the rising Ohio river all the fun and fanaticism was also crammed into one day. Im a bit glad of this since I don’t think my liver could take much more of partying with a bunch of euro crazies.

Worlds was a once in a wonderful experience and a wonderful step up in American cycling. I hope that this is a preview of more and more in the states.

I captured a few photos my self but thankfully my phone died and I was able to see and feel the layers of the racing and the characters that were in attendance.

Here are some links to some wonderfully photographed moments by good photographers.

http://emilymaye.com/cx-world-championships

http://www.pavedmag.com/featured/gallery-brian-vernors-2013-cyclocross-world-championships-retrospective/#more-5375

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kingcyclegroup/sets/72157632687317425/

https://player.vimeo.com/video/59003307

You can even watch a replay of all the races if you were so inclined.

http://velonews.competitor.com/live-2

Here are some photos that Clay took Prior to loosing his phone I guess.

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