Farewell, Old Soldier

Seeing a bike aging and rusting away in a backyard is such a bummer. And yet I did that very thing to bike I had previously loved so, so hard. Watching this boy degrade away in the driveway was making for an ignoble and sad end to a once great and much-loved companion. Action has been taken and arrangements made for a fitting end.

Once upon a time this was a Cannondale F2000 mountain bike. CAAD 4 frame, full XTR group set, and hydraulic disk brakes, which at the time seemed like science fiction technology from the future.

This bike was also the first year of the much celebrated Lefty fork. If I had a dollar for every time a fellow trail user said “Where’s the other half of your fork? Fnar fnar fnar…”. Man, hearing that never got old.

The hideous Stars and Stripes paintjob led me to name him “Mister President”. He’s been hybridised and bastardised many times over the years, but in the day this bike was the shit in 26 inch hard tail cross-country riding, and I loved it like nothing else.

I bought the bike ever-so-slightly used in 2002. It only felt like I spent a lot of money because back then I had far less cash than I had time. What it unlocked for me was a great many years of the hardest of hardcore adventures and fun times with mates and on trails too numerous to recall.

And now I’ve given it the proper, fitting end. Over the course of about an hour I dissembled the bike completely, looking at and enjoying the feel of all those well-used components. Some of the parts I’ll keep, most I’ll toss, but the frame will live on hanging in the shed, there to remind me of a freer life.

Got my money’s worth, fo’ sho’.

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