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Parting With My First Real Bike, It’s A Bittersweet Symphony…

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I haven’t ridden my Trek 3700 in years. I haven’t had a reason to – my vastly superior Rockhopper Sport Disc 29’er is too much an improvement over the twitchy 26″ rim brake 3700.  The bike was sold to me by a friend who took pity on me when I showed up to the running club on a Huffy that was about two sizes too small and heavy as a comparably sized boat anchor.  I’d paid $20 for it at a garage sale.  The 3700, by comparison, wasn’t even in the same universe of quality, and it was perfectly sized.  It was my friend’s backup to his backup bike and he only asked $125 for it.

I darn-near rode the wheels off that bike but it’s been rebuilt as I went.  It’s got a brand new crankset and bottom bracket, new chain, new rubber, new shifters, cables all around and brake pads… Other than being a little on the ugly side from use, it’s in excellent shape.

So there I was at the office yesterday, talking to one of our estimators who just got into mountain biking.  He’s got a big box bike that weighs a ton and managed to crash it into a tree the other day.  He completely crumpled the front derailleur and he asked me what I thought he should get.  Sadly, with COVIDcation, there are no bikes to be bought unless you’re buying high-end or used… and there’s virtually no chance he’d find anything quick that he’ll be able to afford – he’s in the same spot I was when I bought the 3700 from my friend, Tim… and I’m in the same spot Tim was at the time.  I offered it to him.

After I got home from the office, went for a short ride, cleaned up and ate, and sat in on a Zoom meeting, I set about getting it ready (yes, I can fit a lot into the day when I try).  The tires, having sat for the better part of seven months in my garage, were a little squishy and it had a few cobwebs that needed tending to.  I pulled out the compressor and blew everything off, pumped up the tires, put a set of platform pedals on it and took it for a ride.

It was just as I left it.  Perfect.  Other than needing a spit-shine, the bike is in perfect working order (and by perfect, I literally mean perfect, not even a creak out of it).

And so after today, my first real bike will be seeing some use again.  It’s a bit of a bummer letting go of it.  While I’m not typically too sentimental a guy, the bike does hold some significance for me.  On the other hand, it’ll be ridden again, and by someone who’s getting into cycling like I did.  That makes parting with the bike well worth it.

So long, sweet Trek.  Treat your new owner well.

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13 Comments

  1. Anthony says:

    A friend of mine compared this situation to having to put down your horse–he was probably thinking about cowboys. Either way, I know how you feel. On the bright side, you might be changing someone’s life.

  2. Lisa M. Boyd says:

    How cool that your Trek will be passed on, and road as you once road it! Nice job looks great! Parting can be such sorrow, or so much joy! That guy is going to have the time of his life making memories on his new bike. You’re right about the bike shortage. So how cool, all of it.

  3. Eliza says:

    This really touched me. Thanks for writing it up…. it’s bittersweet and gorgeous and making the most of everything…
    💕🕯✨

  4. capejohn says:

    I recently sold two bikes I have owned for years. I compare it to the empty nest syndrome. When the youngest goes off to college. After three days my wife and I agreed. “This is pretty nice” having the house to ourselves.

  5. capejohn says:

    It’s definitely a sellers market. My touring bike was bluebook listed at $75-125. It sold for $550. My Felt carbon bike was listed at $300. I asked $800 and it sold for $675. The touring bike sold withing a hour of posting it. The Road bike took two days.

  6. It’s tough to get rid of bikes, but you already have a more up to date ride. It’s hard for me to think of considering riding a bike off road with rim brakes, but other than that, take that seat down a bit and it’s all good.

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