Imagine, you’re fresh out of Harvard and you land your dream job on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs and you pick up a Corvette to celebrate.
It’s fifteen years later and you’re still with Goldman. Not only that, you’re on the team that works with Barney Frank and Democrats to craft Dodd/Frank. You’re the guy who convinces the politicians that the answer to “too big to fail” is a mountain of paperwork that hammers small banks into the ground while the big banks laugh all the way to the…. well, bank because you just eliminated most of the Big Banks’ less expensive competition.
With a hundredth of your bonus you buy a McLaren.
That’s kind of what happened to me. Without the politicians, the big @$$ bonus and the Vette, McLaren and Goldman Sachs. Oh, and Harvard. I graduated high school and I have a couple of years of college. At Eastern Michigan University. This is, instead, the tale of two bikes….
A Trek 5200 was my first properly sized and appointed road bike, and it was nice. The Venge, purchased two years after the 5200, is my McLaren. For the longest time, riding the Trek was something I had to do so I wouldn’t have to ride the Venge in crappy conditions…
Then the brake track blew out on the rear rim. Seriously, blown out. I put the original Venge wheels on the Trek after I bought new, lightweight wheels for the Venge. Next, a new Easton carbon fiber seat post (finer adjustment for the saddle, and carbon fiber). Then a new paint job and a shiny, new King headset while we were at it.
I recently added new shifters to the modernization effort… Folks, that once “okay” bike is now tight.
So I’ve had the 5200 out a few times since I got the shifters installed. Forty miles on Friday, 35.5 on Sunday and 17.5 yesterday…. and I like it! In fact, for the first time since I brought my Venge home, I chose to ride the Trek on sunny, dry days.
I wouldn’t go anywhere near suggesting the Trek is on par with the Specialized. Fourteen years separate the two bikes and the technology that created them. Where technology is involved, bike years are almost as short as dog years, and the difference between the two is fairly obvious.
Still, it’s been fun to take the old 5200 out for a spin now that it’s fully functional, if nothing else to remember “The Good Old Days” of noobhood, when I knew of “The Rules” but didn’t have the knowledge to use them as a guide to riding well and looking good while doing it.
The 5200 will never be as good as the Venge, to compare the two would be close to comparing Vette and Mclaren; Simply, it’s not fair. By a long shot.
She is still pretty though, and as old school bikes go, it’ll do.