Two Valentine’s ago, I found myself in Blaine searching out for my latest ‘need’. That year it was a new frame. The following season was to be my debut as a Cat 5 and I needed a racier rig, something to let the rest of the peloton know that I wasn’t messing around. So with this in mind, I abandoned my Lady (something she was not in the least bit pleased about) and rode up to Blaine. I had one hundred dollars to my name, and not a penny more.
Priorities, dear Reader.
I looked high and low, but nothing was popping out. There was a lovely Orbea (someone had already taken), a few steel frames (heavy…), and a myriad of carbon fiber speed machines that were *just* outside my reach (maybe a bit more than just). I was exhausted, unhappy and felt the day was lost. Just then, I discovered her.
Underneath her newer counterpart, on the outermost reaches of a table she laid. A 2004 Salsa Campeon in team colors, resplendent in her white, red, green and yellow. I picked her up and examined the price tag – $300. Damn. She screamed speed. She needed love. My wallet ached and grumbled – there would be no luck today. I set her down with a heavy heart.
As I turned away I met a friend – Scott. He told me of his steal of the day. A toolbox which he purchased for a mere $5. Within that box, although, were no fewer than three Ti-Skewers and two King Headsets! The luck had obviously gone to him. I told him my sob story and he encouraged me to give it a shot.
“Offer them $50. What’s the worst that can happen?”
So I did.
The owner did not find this funny, nor did he accept the offer. One of his ‘bros’ insisted that I pay more for the insult. I sang my sob story, just a lowly Cat 5, surely there was something he could do.
“Ok, One Hundred, but I’m losing money here.”
And with that I picked up the bike, strapped it to my bag and threw the five twenties at him. I was gone before he had time to change his mind. Love had won the day. My grin did not fade until well into the evening. I stopped for a cheap lunch at Taco Johns and practically fondled the paint right off. Ah, young love.
Two years, one broken fork, a few nasty spills and a dent in the top tube (not structural) and she’s still humming right along. Due to the pity of a Veteran Cyclist I am able to ride a bike that was (is) far outside of my price range. And that’s what the swap is all about – finding new life for old stuff. Who knows, that frame you have lying around could change someone’s life.
So get out there this weekend and give some lucky kid a break. Make some beer money while you’re at it too and feel good that you’re perpetuating the circle of life.
And if you’re that young Cat 5 and you’re standing up your Lady/Dude to get a shot at a true love – I’ll tell you this much – The bike is still with me. The Lady not so much.
Priorities, dear Reader.
If you’re wondering where to find your true love: This Sunday, February 12th. 9 AM to 2 PM at the National Sports Center (where the Track is). $5 to get in. More information at: http://www.twincitiesbikeswap.com