Thursday, September 10, 2015

Life's Little Victories

Trying to fit a snazzy new front derailleur to a customer's 2012 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR full suspension bike, we had discovered that the attachment bolts matched no pattern currently offered. After a lot of research and treasure hunting, we finally reached the right level at Specialized to get an adapter they no longer make. From the traces of dirt on it, I'd say it was salvaged off someone else's bike.

It arrived with a packing slip designating it an "obsolete accessory item." Yep. A 2012 bike, purchased in 2013 as a closeout, and already dogged by unavailable spares by 2015. The message is clear: either take such great care of your stuff that you never need to replace anything, or beat it to death completely so you can buy a whole new bike.

The customer had been in an unrelated accident after we replaced other parts of the drive train on his bike. A pickup truck left-crossed him as he was riding to work. He received a spectacular gash in the gut. Like a real unsponsored rider, he took the worst hit and spared the bike, for the most part. His seat and the clamp of the seatpost were smashed because of the way his body had been driven into it, but the rest of the bike came out looking remarkably unscathed. Total damage added up to a few hundred dollars, but it was all in easily replaceable parts. The little victory there is that local law enforcement is citing the driver who failed to yield before making the left turn across the path of the cyclist. Even though it is legal and correct, it's still unusual for a cyclist to receive the full measure of respect due to an equal user of the road.

With the rider sidelined by injuries, we had a few more days to track down the magic piece to make his new front derailleur work. He's surprisingly durable and irrepressible. I never knew how many things he'd smashed into, on how many different modes of transportation, until he was relating his current injuries to his impressive catalog of pre-existing scars.

1 comment:

John said...