|One last ride|
I wish I could have ridden my Allez a little further than the 20 miles I ended up doing that day. With my knee still trying to recover from surgery in January, it's been hard for me to push it in the saddle. I entertained a thought of heading to the mouth of Little Cottonwood (with the front derailleur broken there was no way I was climbing UP that canyon), but even that seemed like more than I could do and I settled for the loop which took me to the mouth of Big. During that spin, I thought of all the amazing rides we had shared. There was the time, when I lived in Idaho, where, on a whim, I rode an out-and-back to Magic Mountain in the south hills. I felt good when I got to the mouth of the canyon and decided to keep going. Once I got so far along, it seemed stupid to turn back without going all the way. I ended up riding about 80 miles that day and when I reached the turn back point at the base of this really minor ski hill in southern Idaho, I stopped in the small lodge to grab a drink and Snickers bar. There, one of the Idaho natives, a man more accustomed to ATVs than bicycles asked where I came from. "Rode here from Twin Falls," I replied." It looks like you fell out of a plane?!" he retorted in a manner like he thought my intelligence was more questionable than my shorts, but I didn't care. That day summed up my early days of riding; as long as I could keep turning the pedals on that Allez and was having fun, I wasn't going to stop. That attitude--and that bike-- got me from Ketchum to Galena Summit where I earned one of the most spectacular views I've ever seen. It got me through my one (and to this date) only road race where I got dropped from the peloton in the opening miles. It helped me get back on the bike after a horrible crash near the Snake River canyon just outside of Buhl that gave me a hole in my knee, road rash everywhere and eventually a blood clot in my leg. And most amazingly, it got me through the Tour de Park City, where I suffered like never before on the climb up the Mirror Lake Highway only to wonder if my bike would hold together as I white knuckled the drops on the descent; both of us rattling and shaking like a space capsule in reentry.
|Taking the Allez to the SL Bike Co-op AKA a "farm in the country"|
Even with my methodical documentation, the miles I've ridden on that bike aren't worth noting here, it's the memories. In the 12 years we were together, I think I exceeded expectations for the miles someone could get out of a mid-level road bike and I certainly exceeded the memories. And even though I'd like to think someone picked her up at the bicycle collective and is out there enjoying biking the way I did, chances are that's not the case. 12 years is a long time on a bike and most likely she was either used for parts or used for some guy with a DUI who now needs a mode of transportation, either way, that doesn't change the time spent in the saddle and I'm satisfied it was the best moment for us to part ways.