Monthly Archives: October 2014

My Bike History Part Two

Ive started using categories for my posts. I usually never bothered but I’ll give it a try. I also was going to leave the second part for next throw back Thursday but that just two long to wait for a part two. So here we go.

After many years of no riding I decided to get back into it sometime in 2000\2001. I now was 41 years old. I still had that GT RTS but it was beat up. So I walked into our local Trek dealer (that had changed hands since I bought the 7000) and bought this bike.

OLd treellll

It was a 1999 or 2000 Trek VRX 400. Had to dig into the interwebs to find this pic. This was the exact bike I had, same color. Full suspension And (are you ready for this) hydro disc brakes! I forgot what it cost. Looking it up it looks like it was around $2000? Thats $600 more than that crappy GT! And again twice the bike. Once again other riders were stopping me and asking about the bike. I guess Ive been dealing with the fatbike syndrome (what the hell are you riding??) for many years. But by then spending 2k on a bike was a little bit more mainstream. Road bikes were starting to turn into carbon. Ironically that bike was still about 2 week pay for me, much like the 7000 was in 1991.

So after I was off all bikes for maybe almost 8 years I was back baby! And 30 pounds heavier. An issue I deal with to this day. So I grabbed my bike and headed to the woods.

Things were much different since I parked the GT. We had a city park with trails in it. And what was this? A yearly bike race put on by some group call WORS. I remember riding my weird Trek to watch that race for the first time. Maybe 2000 or so. And telling myself that is in fact, what I want to do with me life. I spent that summer riding my VRX around, discovering all the trails in my area. Thinking about doing those MTB races and formulating a plan to do so. Strangely, just 5 years later I was the director of that race.

As I continued to ride that VRX, I came to realize that it was not a very good bike. The rear suspension was no better than the GT of 6 years ago. The fork improved tho. But as the summer came to a close I understood that this heavy tank was not the bike to start my cross country racing with.

So in spring of 2001 I walked in to the same store I bought my VRX in to buy whatever was state of the art. And at that time it was the Trek Fuel.

 And here it was! My brand new 2001 Trek Fuel 98. I cant believe how easy it is to find these pics online. Thats the exact bike. Man, I was again stylin’. Check out those Rolf wheels. They sure look cool but today we all know the paired spokes are not really a good idea…

So I threw my fat ass over that bike and headed to my first WORS race in May of 2001. It was the first race of the series in Iola, WI and I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing.

Here’s the results. Scroll down to Clydsdale 35+ and Im last out of 4.

Quite the learning curve. But I was hooked. The next few races I took out motorhome and went by myself. Then actually found a few other locals who raced and we ended up just all piling in the motorhome on Saturdays and off we went.

Years 2000 and 2001 I did every race. 12 per summer. Every other weekend. I had a blast. Looking back today that really was close to the best time riding I had. Made a ton of new friends, lost a bit of weight and even podiumed some races.

Cultivating to a 3rd overall in 2002. Scroll down to Clyde 35+

Man, it appears I’ll need more than 2 posts to finish this.

So now I believe I still have both the VRX and the Fuel. For the life of me I cant remember what happened to the VRX. Im sure I sold it at some point but don’t remember it. And dont have any pics of it either.

The Fuel on the other hand, I had forever. Its really the bike I rode right into my bike shop owner era in 2009. Starting then I had new bikes than came and went so I wont get into that stuff. But the Trek Fuel saga is not over. It lasted from 2001 to 2009. And it went thru a huge transformation.

And thats another post.

Have a good weekend. Ride your bike cuz I will do the same.

DLD

My Bike History Part One

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First and latest.

What you are looking at here is my newest and my oldest bikes. The new one we wont talk about too much here. Its a 2015 Trek Farley 8. I believe I’ve mentioned it before. But the other is a small story itself.

The 1991 Trek 7000.

I bought it new in 1991. At the time it was one of the first aluminum bikes. Touted as the lightest bikes available. I remember paying $680 bucks for that bike. Almost unheard of then.

Today the only thing stock from purchase is the frame, seatpost and crank. The bike is beat up but I keep it up. Just put in a new BB. Must have been crashed a million times. The frame is too small for me. Of course at the time the salesman said no problem. And I didn’t know better. Thats his bad. But… I made it work for three years until I got a new bike. Today my wife rides it a couple times a year. I continued to ride it in winters until around 2008. After that I used mostly cross bikes for winter riding and retired the ol’ 7000.

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One of the last winters I used it.

Lets compare the $680 price tag today. For the same price you get a 9 or 10 speed rear from a 7 back then. You get hydro disc brakes, from center pull calipers in that day. You get a almost good fork compared to the alu rigid. At that time suspension forks were still pretty much on the drawing board.

As crazy as it sounds, today you get three times the bike for the same price. Back then the $680 was most likely over two weeks pay for most of us. Compare that to today. What kind of bike would two weeks pay get you today?

Then in 1994 came my GT RTS 3. It was purple. Its was dual suspension and pretty crappy one by todays standards. The cost? In 1994 I paid a mind blowing $1295. For a bike. Crazy!

But man did I get the looks when I rode it. For the most part this was the first bike people have seen with a suspension fork, let alone some weird shock in the back.

This is the bike. Same color.

Found this pic online. This is exactly the bike I had. I sold it for $700 back in the day but I think I know where the guy is who bought it. He painted it I remember. I always thought about looking him up to ask if I could have it back. Im sure its in poor condition. It was pretty beat up when I sold it and Im not sure the guy rode it much. This was for the most part top of the line then. At least for a production bike. I rode the crap out of that bike for maybe 3 years. Then threw it in the attic and stopped riding bikes for almost 10 or so years.

Riding that bike was pretty much like riding a fatbike today. People constantly stopping you and asking what the hell are you riding? Almost falling over when I told them the cost. Asking for a little test ride and not believing the ride. Remember most bike were full rigid back then.

The suspension was terrible. I’ll compare it to todays Walmart bike. Controlling bob on climbs was not even thought about then. When you jumped up and down on the bike the suspension moved and that was good enough back then.

But what did we know. I didnt care. It was a cool bike.

After a hiatus from riding I returned around 20001 with a Trek. I forgot the model. I’ll look for it today and write part two on my bike history next. Today we covered from the beginning in 1991 to about 2000.

To be continued.

DLD

Tuesday Nite Ride.

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Almost ready to flip the light switch.

Another awesome nite ride last nite. About 15 bikes, two groups and again I led group “B”.

This ride stays popular until the temps drop. Then the boys of summer will ditch. Whats left will be the hard core winter riders. Mostly made up of fat bikes. That theory might be tested soon as the temps are scheduled to drop like a rock in a couple days. Looks like temps at ride time Saturday will be around the freezing mark.

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815am

We put in almost an hour and a half of ride time. Would have been more but there was a lot of visiting going on. Which is fine. And a little beer drinking after. Which is fine also.

The Park visit was a good one this morn. I had my good camera so I got to take a good pic.

There’s still quite a few people in the park in the morn. A few brave campers. Soon, with the coming of full on winter, I will be the only person there when I have my morning coffee.

For some strange reason I like that. The park feels different to me when Im alone in such a big place. Quiet. Not that its noisey at all. Just a different quiet.

Soon I will be grooming the ski trails there I hope. I got my first ski’s brought in to the shop to get wax’ed. Thats always a good feeling. The change of seasons has begun in earnest.

I still have not inventoried my winter clothing and need to do so quickly. I’ll need some for the weekend. Maybe sooner as I might get a ride in tomorrow aft when my tech guy comes in to fix a few bikes that came in.

As I said earlier I need to prep my Surly Trucker into winter mode.

There’s a lot of work to do here due to season change. Both professional and personal.

DLD

Weekend Report.

Now I remember why I never post stuff like Friday. I get called out. But I don’t mind. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect that. I must say out of all the facebook posts, emails and such there was way more lovers than haters. So I’ll leave that issue with this article.

Click here!

Now Im moving on. To the weekend.

Saturday was a great ride. I expected more road bikes but only one. A majority still on  a MTB which is good to see. Me on my cross with 70 pounds of pressure. I can hang in much easier with that bike right now. I’ll ride it until it snows and the roads get crappy. Then I’ll winterize my Long Haul Trucker back to winter mode. I’ll write more about that bike later.

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headed to D.C.

Sunday a bunch of us headed to some trials for a bit of woods riding. About 5 bikes showed and I was again reminded of what happens when everyone else has a carbon XC rocket and Im on a fatbike. I did not even try to keep up but that was fine that day. I took it slow and stopped at the top of the every hill so soak in the vista’s. I enjoyed the time in the woods. Later we hung out in the lot and talked stupid for awhile. I good ride\day.

Monday I had plans to head up to Door County with my wife, back to Peninsula Park for some riding and hanging. I waited till the morn to make the call based on weather. At 9am it looked good to go. Sun was out with small chance of rain.

We stopped in Egg Harbor for some breakfast and hit Fish Creek around noon. After tooling around in the car we decided to stop farther in the park and ride out instead of the other way around. After we started riding I once again was surprised on the cool temps. They were calling for 60, and at noon it was 51. The sun was peeking out now and then so it was not as bad but I was a bit underdressed as usual.

We rode out of the park and stopped at a gift shop my wife wanted to walk in to. After maybe 15 minutes we walked out to a huge downpour. Not knowing where that even came from. So we waited it out about 15 minutes more and headed back to the car after it slowed down. The Lime stone trail was soaked and I was getting clobbered by debris off my 4in rear tire. It was about a 20 min ride back to the car.

About 5 min into that ride it poured a second time. Thunder, lighting, the works. Was one of those times where you put your head down, dont talk and just pedal. Strangely, the sun was out where we were riding. I saw my shadow on the trail, but still pouring hard at the same time. The temps also slipped back into the 40’s. Miserable.

We got to the car, jumped in with our helmets still on and fired up the engine\heater. As you would expect it stopped a few minutes later, the sun came out and it didn’t rain the rest of the day. All together it poured twice for about 10 minutes each and it was right in our riding window. Such luck I have.

We finally changed to dry clothes and warmed up but the day’s riding was shot. The pile of wet clothes in the backseat was huge.  We pretty much stopped at one more shop in Fish Creek then drove the two hours home. The weather back home was near perfect all day and we should have stayed in out own backyard to ride but how is one to know I guess.

So that was my three day weekend. Well, two day since I worked Saturday I guess.

Tonite is the second of the weekly nite rides in town, had a good time at the last one so I hope this one is as good. The weather looks pretty damn nice….

DLD