Saturday, July 11, 2020

Goodbye 1X1! It Was Good To Know Ya!

Highly manipulated image of the ol' 1X1 from about 18 years ago.
The Surly 1X1, which I have had in my possession for a little more than five years, has a new home now. This is the bike that has a long history with former and current bicycle mechanics from this area. I think a brief overview is in order to bring the proper weight and gravity to this story. So, bear with me a moment as I take you through the history of this particular Surly 1X1.

The 1X1 in this story was first purchased by Vance McCaw, who now is with Trek Bicycles, in 1999 when he was an employee at a local shop here. At that time I was a car mechanic locally, but still a cyclist. I had visited this shop several times during this period and recall seeing the bike then and remarking at it because it was a 'purpose built single speed' which in 1999 was weird.

Vance eventually moved on to Trek, then selling the bike as a training tool to Jeff Kerkove, now of Ergon USA. Jeff used the bike as a Winter hack, logging thousands of miles of gravel and snow-ridden roads while commuting back and forth to work and while training for his solo 24 hour events. Of course, I met Jeff in 2002, so this bike's history was well known to me after this point.

Before Jeff left for Colorado, he sold the bike (or gave it to- not sure which) to Carl Buchanan, who had also worked at the same shop. Carl, who is still a local resident here, sold it to Adam Lorenz, who used to work at the shop and at Velocity USA for a while. Adam then gave the bike to Brian Bottke, who worked at the shop and used the bike as part of an Xtracycle set up to haul his toddler son with. When Brian left to pursue his medical career, he gave the bike to me, at the tail end of 2014, and I've had it since.

I used the bike mostly as a commuter and errand bike. I have gotten great use out of it and while I love that little rig, and the history it represents, it was a medium sized frame and a touch too small for the likes of me. Besides, as you all well know as readers here, I have a LOT of bicycles. I can afford to be picky. I had been charged by Brian to give the bike to the next mechanic in line if I ever left the shop. Well, the shop had to shut its doors, and I was forced to find other employment. Now that's the history up to the present time.

The bike as I last had it set up. This is behind Andy's Bike Shop.
Of course, now I work at Andy's Bike Shop. I was released from my promise to Brian, but I had hatched a plan. See, Andy used to work at that same shop which I had worked at. In a sort of way, it would be congruent in the chain of things to pass the 1X1 along to Andy. I mentioned the possibility to him one day and he was excited about this idea. Besides, the bike, as a medium sized 1X1, fit him perfectly. So, on Wednesday July 8th, 2020, I passed on the 1X1 to Andy.

Andy has already tweaked out the bike to his liking and has ridden it to work as his commuter. This makes me smile. This was what I was hoping would happen. One more happy owner in the chain of the 1999 Surly 1X1 and one less bike in my storage area. Win-win.

It was good to know ya, you rascal of a bike! But you've found a new, good home where you are loved.


graveldoc said...

Congratulations for both you and Andy! When I read a blog post of yours about the 1X1 years ago, I wondered when you'd be passing it on to the next appropriate recipient. I recall the first time I ever saw a 1X1. My wife, daughter and I were traveling through northern Iowa on our way home from a vacation trip to Minnesota. We stopped in a town for lunch and happened to see a bike shop, so Iwent in. There at the back of the shop floor was this black 1X1 with really wide slick tires. I was smitten. Funds would not have allowed a purchase, plus there was no adequate room in the vehicle to transport it back to Missouri. Well, I have enough bikes to cover my needs so don't plan on adding anything else, at this time.

FarleyBob said...

Thanks for sharing GT! That is a great story, and some great history. Your list of former mechanics and the places they have moved on to is quite impressive!