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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5 Responses to “R.I.P. Pinky”

  1. Dimitri Harris February 27, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    Kool. I used to have one of the Look KG171 O.N.C.E. frames in pepto pink. I don’t know if carbon tubes make very good wind chimes but that thing is long gone. Good story.

    • The Highroller Cyclery February 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      Yo Meech I think you know what the other bike is that i will never surrender. Until I wreck it totally.

  2. Rob King March 21, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    Branton,
    I’ve been searching feverishly for one of those frame sets and honestly nobody will let them go. I hate to see such a beauty used as a wind chime.
    Rob

  3. Aaron K. Mattix April 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Sorry to hear of the passing of Pinky. Taking roadie laps around the Lake Fayetteville trails are still one of my favorite riding memories.

  4. Jason Fielding May 28, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    sorry for your loss. I remember when I first saw that bike…it had all the gold bling on it. I think of it every time I see you in the shop.

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