… Last ride December 23 2009 in the snow and ice. And for Christmas the Cove was stripped bare of parts, with the remains stashed away in the dark reaches of the shed.Â Less than a month later, it nearly passed into new ownership until a brief burst of sanity sent it back to the guilty corner.Â TheÂ plan* = which stayed its’ eBay execution – was to all ride my other bikes to see if it that one would be missed.
This is such a dumb plan, because as a measure of ownership everything but the ST4 and road bike would be heading out the door. Only when the ST4 became an expensive tester for breaking strain of every component was the Pace dusted off. Until I broke that as well. The DMR is the perfect wheeled perch for riding with the kids, but its’ days of being flung off large jumps – with an abandon if not exactly wild then at leastÂ pretty feral – are long gone.
My mistake was to confuse mileage with usefulness. Sure logic may dictate that something that is not used and has a value should be off-loaded for whatever the market would pay, with a bonus of losing the guilt associated with hanging on to something that’s become aÂ bit of an embarrassingÂ shed-queen**.
However let us extend that hypothesis to only my immediate family. Such an approach would see us quickly assume eBay trader status and further require a fleet of skips to remove the roomfulls of crap we have collected through the power of “Project Magpie – two kids, tiny attention span, cheap plastic shit”.
So we’re not exactly starving, and selling bikes just because I am not riding them RIGHT NOW is clearly the ravings of a mad man or an accountant.Â And while the ST4 has been consistently brilliant, it’s also a bit fragile.Â Even with the decent winter riding we have here, it’s hard to imagine there would be much left other than bits of swarf and a large bill at the end of the next one.Â So getting the Cove built back up is a fantastic idea even if it is six months early.
Ahead of the game that’s me. No one has any idea what I’m doing most of the time. Least of all me. A careful study of that image will show a splash of old school Crankage hanging off a positively venerable Square Taper BB,Â bars, stem, seatpost, saddle and wheels reclaimed from the spares bin, a new set of forks brought forth by a Warranty triumph, with the remainder of important bits harvested from others’ unwanted cast offs.
I didn’t even finish building it because I have started to think of the bike shop in Ross as an extension of my own workshop only staffed by competent people such as Nick.Â I rolled in most of a chassis with a set of bleeding brakes that needed just that, and returned to fetch a fully working bike assembled without any obvious use of the large hammer much loved in my own builds.
Shall I be waiting to ride it until Winter? I shall not, because – even on a brief test ride – there is a certain directness and simplicity that is sure to offer much in the twisty forest tomorrow. And maybe on some other trails as well, where the utter sorted-ness of a full suspension bike could feel a little too much.Â But really it’s a crap conditions bike, although I do appreciate that a Titanium bike with decent stuff hanging off it is probably not everyone’s idea of the perfect winter bike.
“Get yourself a singlespeed and some rigid forks” they will shrill and I shall calmly reply “Much as I hate fixing stuff, I still want to be having fun when I’m out there. If I wanted the experience so loved by your sort, I’ll just buy myself a hair shirt and rub myself down with a ripe pineapple”. I find this generates enough confusion for me to run off before they can compose a ripost.
You see I look at this lot and don’t think “too many bikes, not enough difference between them, waste of money, etc, etc”. No I remember how much fun I’ve had on each and every one of them***, and – more importantly – how much MORE fun I’m going to have.
Starting tomorrow 🙂
* It’s not really a plan. It’s merely twisted logic on the endlessÂ roller-coaster of bike acquisition
** A job I feel I fulfil rather well myself.
*** Except the road bike. I’m not admitting to anything. That way lies waxing.