Tuesday, July 9, 2013


The day it died. Seat tube broke next to shock.
I didn't always ride new bikes all the time. I didn't always have $10k bikes to ride as I please. I didn't always own a bike shop.

But I always had cool bikes that did my best to make them my own. I miss that. I miss having my own bike. Sure, I ride cool bikes but they're not mine. Im just borrowing, or renting until the real owner comes along someday.

Case in point. 

My 2001 Trek Fuel 98. I did buy it new in 2001. I forgot how much ($2100.00?) it cost. I had it a long time. Three wheelsets. Three drivelines. Pictured here, the only thing left stock was the seatpost.

After becoming completely obsessed with the movie Napoleon Dynamite I decided to change my Fuel to the Sledgehammer. It turned out pretty good. And became the stuff legends are made of.
You would not believe the call outs I had at a race when I was riding that thing. It was constant. 

I had way more fun racing that bike than any carbon science fiction race machine any bike manufacturer can make today. Not even close.

resting place today

And thats my point. I miss owning a bike that I can make my own. In my book, all the Superfly SL 9.9s in the world do not have half the swagger the Sledgehammer did. And never will. Even if they have a custom paint job.

I know its hard for most of you to understand this as I roll out another ten thousand dollar bike.

But I cant attach any memories to those bikes. I cant look at any of those feather weight race machines and say "remember when?". I don't have them long enough. Demo'd and gone.

Now... as I look at my Sledgehammer, as its sitting on top the fridge in my office, I remember specific rides with specific friends. I remember at least five specific races almost 10 years ago. And more.
I could go on and on.
I remember that day the Sledgehammer died (cracked seat tube). I remember where I was. I remember walking out of the woods alone and I remember how sad I was knowing it was gone. I did not even try to warranty it as I would never give it up. Striped it. Sold all the components. Hung it up.

I cannot count how many times I have recited this clip.

Notice when Pedro hits the jump there are three bricks under, when Napoleon tries it theres two. Classic.
When you watch a movie a thousand times you notice shit like that.

So while you all look at my bikes with envy, I look at all yours with a different kind of envy. It saddens me to know I will never own a bike that will not accrue any of my life's history.
But among all the carbon I do have two. The Sledgehammer and my old cross bike Pinky. I keep them close and see them everyday.
 I would not trade those bikes for the world. Ditching those bikes would be ditching a part of my life. A part of who I am.

Im glad I still have them.



Anonymous said...

I'm sure there are arguments for both sides of this post, however here's reality... you do have a CHOICE what type of bike you ride. You choose what to ride, buy and you alone create your stories and memories. So rather than read the same post every few months, do something about it! Either be happy with riding $10,000 bikes and then selling them OR do both. But whatever you decide, please do something, because most people don't feel sorry for you and quite frankly are tired fo reading the same post every couple of months.

Dan Dittrich said...

Yeah, I was not looking for sympathy. And before I write these posts I know there are many who just wont get it. Just 5 years ago I would not of understood the issue either. Its a feeling you cannot understand unless you experience it. Also hard to explain without sound like Im bragging about riding expensive bikes (Im not!).

As far as writing this post every couple of months, I most likely will continue as I constantly run out of shit to write about. And I enjoy writing it weather people read it or not.... Anyhoo.... I will explain a bit deeper in todays post....