my new tourer

I think I will sell this bike.

I should explain.

In 2010, I built Hill a touring bike. She got it in a pretty raw state with her coffee on the morning of her birthday.

She chose some colors and it went off to paint and came back looking quite beautiful, I thought.   (It’s quite possible that the color choices were unwittingly effected by the bedding!  and even her hair?)

The idea was that as soon as I had the time I’d build myself one too, and we’d go and do some touring.  In particular, we liked the idea of starting in the Seattle area with a visit to the infamous Timmy Corkery, and then heading north through Bellingham (Cory B!), to vancouver (Perfect Tommy), and on to Vancouver Island to see what the west coast Nova Scotia looked like.

This project got a little derailed when, in the late summer of 2010, I recurred and had to be rushed to the hospital for an evisceration!  The surgery was followed by six months of chemotherapy, which I found much harder to endure than my first six month stint of the stuff.  I was completely unable to work.  I sent back a few down payments, and spent a lot of time on my back.

At some point in March, though, my white blood cells got low enough that they weren’t able to give me the normal dose of chemo without risking.. well.. death, I guess.  So, I got a few days less poison that round, and the difference it made was amazing.  I took advantage of it and rushed out to the shop and managed to mostly build myself a frame in about three days.

The following day I was back on the poison, and the debilitating pain that it caused sunk back in until the end of treatment in May.  I didn’t get around to finishing the frame and building racks until the end of the summer, but it DID eventually become a bike. Sort of my dream bike, in fact.  It has the last set of paramount lugs that I had.  No more to be had for love or money.  It has a shiny silver Campy Athena 11 speed group.  Paul Comp brakes.  Chris King, White industries, Nitto, etc etc.

The problem is that I designed the bike for the body that I had, and not the body that I’ve ended up with.  The two herniated disks in my lower back (still no clue about how they happened during a period spent mostly prone) and the sciatic pain that they cause pretty much rule out long days spent in the saddle, even in the reasonably upright position that the nitto technomic stem allows.

So I haven’t really ridden the thing.  It’s got a total of about 150 miles on it.

It’s sad for me.  And also sad for Hill.  It represents the sum total of work that I managed to get done during my last bout of cancer treatment.  It was meant to be the mating pair to Hill’s bike, which would allow us to adventure around together.  Pretty romantic, I thought.  But Hill and I agree that it’s even more sad for that bike with so much love (and money) tied up in it, to simply hang on the wall and not be ridden.  It’s a great bike for SOMEONE.  Not me.  And maybe I can use the money to build myself something that I WILL ride.

I’m about 5’8″ and normally proportioned.  If you don’t have back problems, and like bike touring, this might be a great bike for you. I can make it available for test rides for anyone who wants to come for a visit.

So that you have a sense.  If you were to order a bike like this bike from me, it would have a price tag in the $5500 range.  Naturally, I would sell this one for considerably less.  We can talk.

Come to think of it, maybe while I’m at it I’ll unload this thing too!

17 cold hard pounds

5 Replies to “Sadly”

  1. Aw, I remember the whole ‘lil journey with that bike. I’m all for fresh starts though! That’s a real gem for some special someone out there:)

  2. Here is a bike that deserves an owner. There was a vid doing the rounds recently of a bike that found a worthy owner despite tribulations. I do hope the new rider sends postcards to the bikes Dad.

  3. You are one brave man.

    If you can, try a recumbent. You may be able to ride that trip after-all.

    For me it was hand numbness that I couldn’t make better.

    In any case, it’s a beautiful piece of work. Impressive.

  4. Touching story and an amazing bike. I could only wish to ride a bike built with love such as this. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m basically on a top-ramen diet while saving for a house right now, I’d totally make a reasonable offer on it… but, I can not deviate from my commitment to save the funds until i am living the luxury of rent-free life. If, however, this work of art is available in a year (which I seriously doubt that it will be) I’d love to wax poetic about the potential purchase, and re-homing of something that truly deserves to be ridden.

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