The Beginning Pt.2

Posted February 6, 2005 @ 9:41pm | by S. Cutshall

So after searching through a lot of websites and gleening as much info as I could I called back my sage advisor-my bro-and told him what I had found.  Glad I did because I was an ant's ass hair away from purchasing a Hybrid/Comfort bike made by Trek.  Not that there is anything wrong with such bikes (well there sorta is but that's another story) but according to my brother it was all wrong for me.

According to him the Trek was aluminum when I wanted steel, had shocks for forks when I wanted rigid, had low end components when I needed something better, had shitty wheels and hubs when I needed something beefy & strong, was built for riding a couple miles on Sundays and eventually getting bored with when I needed something I could increase my daily mileage on and not get bored with, etc, etc, etc.  In the end he suggested going with an older steel, lugged road bike or even better yet... an older steel, lugged touring bike.

While I kept my eyes peeled I started an intensive study on the differences between road & tourers, mountain & comfort, steel & carbon, lugs vs. fillet brazed and more.  I was in love with every new website, every new article, every new forum board... all of it.  My bookmarks in my browser started out with 1 folder named "Cycling" and by the early fall of 2003 I had 25 subfolders under that 1 folder and the links in all the folders numbered nearly 950.  I had shit written in German, French, Vietnamese, Arabic, Dutch, Korean, Japanese... if it concerned bikes, riding them, building them, wrecking them, touring on them, racing them, selling & buying them or maintaining them... I had it.  More was never enough and a lot was too little.  I was/am obsessed.

And then I found Ebay and Craigslist... and the worm turned.

"Honey, I need to talk to you about something.... "

I loved searching bikes and parts out on Ebay and just sitting back and watching people bid, seeing what got lots of interest versus none, what got bidded up to huge bucks and what got short sheeted.  It was all fascinating... and still is.

I was a bike junky with no bike!  Little did I know but I was also a dyed in the wool BOB and didn't know that either.

By early winter 2003 I still had no bike which was fine by me because I was still dipping my feet in the waters of velo.  I was the eternal Young Jedi.  I was in training... training to make the "right" purchase. 

Around this time 2 really amazing things happened...

1)  I went for my daily jones of Craigslist and saw a 1990 Trek 520 tourer for sale here in NYC for 500 clams.  Which due to the seller being a total dickstain... promising it to me because I was the first to respond to his ad and the next day, 5 minutes before walking out the door to go pay him and pick it up, he called to say he had sold it to someone else... the deal went belly up. 
**Funny note... when he called and told me what he had done I responded by telling him that I was "disappointed" which seemed honest & genuine but sent him off into a 20 minute tirade about how he cannot handle disappointing people and it makes him hate himself and that he's been trying for years to come to grips with this in therapy... when he got done yapping at me I said to him, "You are clearly insane, Goodbye".**

What came out of this was supremely fantastic as I immediately went back to Craigslist and in a pissed mood entered a search for "trek 520" in all the CL locations worldwide and BAM... there was one, in my size, a 1985 (so it had lugs and a nicer color than the '90 model... not to mention nicer decals but of greater importance better components) and it was located in Philly (so I could immediately get my brother on it!).  Karma baby, Karma!

After emailing the seller and then calling my brother with the details I immediately called the crazy guy in NYC with the 1990 520 and when he picked up I said, "It's me again... you really are a disappointment to me and I'm sure others... Goodbye".  Childish yes, but it reallllly felt good too.

Two hours later my brother calls me from his cell and announces that he's driving back home and in the back of his Jeep he has a 1985 Trek 520 touring bike.  He also mentioned that the seller was extremely nice, let him test ride it and didn't jive around by doing something dishonest like removing something that was on the bike in the photos (on CL) vs. what was on the bike when my brother showed up to check it out.  i.e. the seller was straight up and honest.  Oh, the other thing my brother mentioned was, "You owe me $300.00"... the price of the cycle.  Man, 5 weeks before Xmas and you'd think he would slide me into some gifting or something.  No wonder I only call him for favors.  ;-)

The bike had a Brooks Professional saddle on it, mostly Shimano 600 kit, Nitto stem, Campy brake levers, mudguards... it was in great shape with a couple smallish scratches.  My brother even tuned it up for me before I picked it up from him over Christmas and he threw on an old Blackburn rear rack too.  Guess that was my gift?


my first "new" cycle as an adult

2)  The other amazing thing that happened around this time was really twofold... I stumbled across a website by a company that made cycles called Rivendell Bicycle Works
The other one was that the gentleman, Fred Yavorsky...


thats Fred but really he's a BOB

...that I bought my Trek from emailed me to ask how I was digging it which was very nice and that lead me to something else.  I was curious and being nosey so I did a Google on Fred and found a site where his photo was posted with a short description of his bikes.  The page that all this was listed on is called The Internet BOB Photo Index (run by fellow BOB Perry Bessas).  While I was enjoying all the photos, cycles and stories I kept thinking to myself-what the hell is a BOB?  Finally on Perry's site I came across a description of what makes up a BOB .  I was blown away.  Also I found a link to what would open up an entirely new chapter in cycling & cycling culture for me...

The Internet BOB List

Serendipity?  You betcha.

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