Farewell to a Giant

The one upside of a catastrophic crash is that if you do a really good job of it, you might be able to get a new bike. It’s no secret that my bike is a little, well, long in the tooth. It’s a 3rd hand Giant OCR3, aluminum frame, about 8-10 years old. It was first given to me as a loaner by my friend Lorne who runs the t-shirt silkscreening place above my office, who I quite accidentally discovered was an avid triathloner one summer morning when I went to check out a race in St. Malo, where we have a cabin. Imagine my surprise to find Lorne there decked out in a lycra onesie, extolling the virtues of triathlon, while happily grazing on bagels and bananas at the post-race buffet.

Lorne had a beautiful Cervelo for racing, and when I showed some enthusiasm about getting into the sport, he told me I was welcome to use his “training bike” until the end of the race season. I was floored, and way too excited to decline the offer. He showed up at the office a few days later with the Giant in his car, it was the lightest and most tricked-out bike I had ever seen. It had a computer mounted to the stem (the bit that holds the handlebars on) aero bars, and clipless pedals. When I showed the bike to my husband Paul, he was suitably impressed, and a little jealous.

I treated Lorne’s bike with kid gloves and almost cried the first time I rode it outside, where every bump seemed to assault the fine precision of its delicate wheels and frame. I rode it proudly, it made me feel like I really looked like knew what I was doing (except during the frequent spills I took at red lights when I couldn’t unclip my feet from the pedals).

As my luck would have it, Lorne had a dismal race season that year, which he thought might be partially due to having trained on one bike and raced on another. So he told me I could continue to use the Giant, rather than it gathering dust in his garage. After 2 years of “borrowing” it, Lorne’s Bike became My Bike when he finally let me buy it from him in the spring.

But bikes are kind of like computers. They become old fast, and what was The Shit 3 years ago is now almost worthless. When the Giant was new, it was The Shit. Now I actually get strange looks on it, especially from hard core roadies and racers, like I’m riding a unicycle or a tractor. It has become a funny shtick with my riding crew, who mostly ride high end carbon bikes. I get lots of good-natured ribbing and plenty of generous advice about getting a bike that actually fits me and my type of riding. I think my friends want me to get a new bike as much as I want me to get a new bike. They are awesome. But I do pretty good, and am thankful to have a bike to ride at all. Ok, until now.

So now begins the journey. Hopefully I can scrounge up the money for something cool that makes me feel as excited and proud as I was when I first rode the Old Giant. Farewell dear friend.