Bikes, Early Season Rides and an Old Friend

I was lucky enough to get a few rides in before the recent rains. Although getting back on the bike after 4 months of not riding is painful, it’s always great to get back on the bike and get outside. My bike needs some TLC in a bad way, though, after a winter of neglect instead of renewal. The 5-Spot is having the finishing touches put on her, so I should be riding that bike soon and will work on the RFX as time permits.

I recently had an encounter with an old friend: my first really good mountain bike, a matte black 1995 Specialized Stumpjumper. I’d sold the bike to a coworker when I acquired its replacement, a full-suspension version of the Stumpjumper, in 2001. It was my first full suspension bike, and I loved it so much I never imagined getting on the old one again, and I liked the idea of getting someone else on it. Sadly, he crashed on one of his rides on it, and it’s been hanging in his garage, in bike purgatory, ever since.

Aftermath of Raj's faceplant

I’d tried to buy the bike back from the friend a few times, but he always insisted he might ride it again. Its fork had blown up, creating a twitchy ride, and even though I told him to take it in he never did. And other than a quick ride on the street with his daughter, he didn’t ride it.

Another old friend who I’d successfully gotten into mountain biking, if only for a short time, told me he wanted his decent but much neglected Cannondale hard-tail out of his garage. I keep an extra bike for friends and visitors to ride, and so told him I’d take his as an upgrade to that bike. But then I had an idea….

I emailed the friend with my Stumpjumper, and proposed a trade of this bike–in better condition–for my old original, since he wanted to have a bike to ride. He agreed, and I’ve picked my old bike up. It needs some TLC, but it’s good to see it again, and I’m looking forward to taking it out on the trail again. I rode that bike all over, in several different states on many different road trips, and it’s a blast from the past for sure.

Maybe I’ll take it on a fairly mellow ride, like one of the recent ones I did with Shane and Erik up in the Long Ridge area, which was a new route for me.