Today was a sad day. I cracked the fork on my Inglis cyclocross bike of 14 years. I only messengered on it for a short time as the first week I worked on it, I was doored and the frame was dented from the handlebars crushing the steel top tube. I cannibalized the frame of its components and put it out to pasture like most riders with no cash but a decent set of allen keys would. Several years later I decided to put it back into active duty. I got pretty used to going through components as messengering was so stressful on not only me, but the bikes that delivered me, while I delivered packages.
For 10,000+ miles we ran the streets together. Not only in the snow and rain, but also on those pretty sunlit days when I just wanted to hang out with my old pal. I knew something was wrong with it when I rode it into the shop today. I rode very gingerly not to do any further damage. I thought the headset was shot. When we looked at the bike in the stand, we noticed a fissure in the crown. The frame was intact which was good, but the frame/fork combo would be no more.
I don’t get attached to too much that doesn’t bleed, but when it comes to my bikes, I take it kinda personal. I guess that’s why San Francisco messengers have their bikes dumped in the bay upon them signing-off for the last time. If I were an Egyptian king, I would have my bike, my bag, and my dispatcher committed to the next world with me.
I depended on all the bikes I worked on to deliver me safely, from pick-up to drop-off, from drop-off to bar, and from bar to home for my 7 years of duty. I ride fancier stuff now than in those days, but when time was tight, the roads clogged and a drop-off absolutely had to be there in time, I knew that my beaten down bikes for all my bad calls in traffic would still somehow get me to my destination safe, sound and with time to spare.