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Taking the Evil Empire Bike Out for a Spin…


August 2016

Cue Darth Vader’s march…

My friend Adam, a one-time racer, bike shop owner and general lover of all things cycling except Trek, loves to refer to the high-end manufacturer as the Evil Empire.  Why, I do not know.  The most I ever got out of him was, “Because they really are”.

Not surprising, he sold Cannondale’s and has an emotional connection to Bianchi.

In any event, I love my Trek now that I’ve A) made it my own by completely stripping it down and having it professionally repainted and B) had a new headset installed in the process.  It’s amazing how awesome a bike that steers right feels.

With my Venge down a front wheel, I took the 5200 out for a spin last night.  My decision to take the Trek on DALMAC was cemented on that ride.  I’m going to put the good wheels from the Venge on the Trek, and I’m going to ride that ride with a smile.

I love my Venge.  It’s the vastly faster and more comfortable of the two, but the Trek climbs a little better – and more important, I don’t mind getting the Trek dirty.  I am completely comfortable with stripping the bike down to its frame, with changing the cables and dialing in the shifting.

There, to my knowledge, has never been a DALMAC that didn’t have rain at least one of the four days – and the Trek is made for crappy weather.  Everything is easy to clean and accessible.

Last year we rode in a downpour on day one.  Day two saw no precipitation but the roads were damp much of the day.  By the time we got to camp on Friday, the Venge was a mess.  I cleaned it up the best I could but it was shifting was a little sluggish and with the internal cables, all I could do was hold on and hope for the best.  This year, if I run into trouble, I’ll be able to loosen the cables, clean them and have everything back together in five minutes.

In the end, the Trek is the right bike for that ride, and I like riding it a lot more now that it works like it should!  It just needs good wheels on it.

Cue Darth Vader’s march, one more time.


  1. For what it’s worth, I totally understand the emotional connection to Bianchi. As a former Bianchi owner, I will always have a fondness in my heart for one of the most beautiful and near fastest ride that I have ever had.

    Best wishes to you on DALMAC. You do know that you probaby have guaranteed dry weather by coming prepared for it?

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