today was a gorgeous day to ride.
it was pretty hot, and a little windy, but it's the kind of day that we in toronto have waited for for the past 8 months, and it was the kind of day that one could get a sunburn, a windburn, and a hangover, all at once, and love it.
my frame is cracked.
i spent the day walking around with the girls, sweating, buying juice and laundry detergent, doing chores, and cheering on the riders at the toronto criterium. it would be a fine way to pout.
i learned last weekend that one of the unfortunate sides to cleaning one's things is that one may discover the last thing one wants to discover underneath all of the grime: an imperfection. the imperfection i discovered last weekend went far beyond a mere scratch or ugly weld bead. it was a crack. a long crack, starting in the weld and finishing on the other side of the seat tube. i guess that explains all the clicking noise while i climb.
at first, i didn't believe it.
then i yelled an expletive, tossed the rag, and went inside to tell someone, anyone, that something really bad had just happened. and all the while, i couldn't really believe it, but i kind of wanted to, because i knew something was up with that clicking sound while i climbed, and i always wondered about an excuse to buy a real racing bike and...
the frame's cracked. the foundation of my entire venture into bikes and road bikes and racing and training and everything else has been compromised. building that bike brought me to bike shops across the city, baby in chest carrier, in search of rare and specific parts or tools. it made me learn all about campagnolo and 8 speed and then 10 speed. i had to re-learn how to build wheels. i built relationships with quirky mechanics down the street, living the dream and charging way too little to solve my hardest problems with ease. that bike brought me closer to my dad. he found the frame on ebay when i asked him to help me snipe another, much cheaper, much less fancy frame. he paid for half of it. he rode more when i brought it up to his house and we rode together. that frame got me through two centuries. that frame got me back into climbing, and road bikes altogether. riding that bike made me eat better and train harder and shave my legs again. i had a lot to live up to, riding a bike like that. that frame weighs about as much as the brooks b17 i put on it when i first built it. that frame has class, is a conversation starter, got me onto the serotta forum, made me learn about generosity and the finer points usually reserved for true bike snobs. that bike got me into and through my first bike race.
and now it's cracked.
it's okay. i called serotta and they can fix it for about twice as much as i paid for the frame. and it'll take a couple months. and i'll have to pay for shipping. and it won't be the same. and that pissed me off. i knew i wasn't getting serotta guarantee or warranty when i bought a used frame off of ebay, but it never occurred to me that serotta could mean breakable, certainly not in titanium! it wouldn't really be that big of a deal if i had the cash lying around to just get the thing fixed, or just ride another bike, or just buy another bike, or just buy another frame. but i don't. ITTET, i'm dirt poor, living paycheck to paycheck and hoping for a summer job. groceries aren't getting any cheaper, and the girls aren't eating any less.
thankfully, i came to my senses and asked around and got some advice and now the frame looks like it'll be repaired within 10 days. i'll build it up again next weekend. it will be glorious. i will learn more. i will ride it harder. it will be truly custom. i will know it so much better. i can't wait. thank goodness for tragedy; here comes fortune!