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Ground Control To Major Jake


Ground Control To Major Jake.
Your top-tube's dead,
there's something wrong.
Can you hear me, Major Jake?
Can you hear me, Major Jake?
Can you hear me, Major Jake?
Can you....

As a result of the altercation a few weeks ago, the Major Jake cyclo-cross bike has a hefty dent in the top-tube, of the kind that isn't too beneficial for aluminium. It's time to say goodbye.

It's been a rollercoaster few years full of giggles and tears. Sure your 135mm spaced rear-end has been a real PITA to get wheels for, and your 30.0 seatpost was awkward to begin with and you've always been a little short, but over time we've overcome these little difficulties and got along just dandy.

You spent a whole winter with slicks on in the guise of a road-bike,
I crashed and broke my arm on you, and still you saw me through turbo-trainer recovery and on-road back to fitness, I attempted the South Downs Way on you and you saw my soul leave my body at Ditchling Beacon, we've done a brace of 'cross races, a few HONCs, and you've been used pretty much exclusively through the worst of the weather from October to March every year for more half-tarmac/half-road rides than I can even hope to remember, pretty much just treated badly throughout your entire life and put away dirty.

Yes, I know you know that my head has been turned by your 2009 version (and not just for its longer top-tube and handy standard road wheel sizings, it's just so darn pruddy) and it was only a matter of time, but I didn't want it to finish like this.

Like taking the ageing Labrador for a final walk on the heath before the visit to the vets, our one last ride was the local 'cross race, a place of friends and little traditions and pain and fun in equal measure. It was the least I could do.

I'm sure there was a little bit of a pull to the left and I'm sure the dent crept a bit bigger, but you didn't fall apart on me and you got me home. A good day with a gentle undercurrent of sadness.

So long old friend, I'll miss you.


Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.

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mooseman | 15 years ago

Goodbye old friend and partner in grime.

Trek Sal replied to mooseman | 15 years ago

My thoughts are with you at this sad time VJ. I too, had a similar recent bereavement.

Perhaps you could put the Major's corpse in a suitable corner of the garden amongst some South Downs wildflowers, (guarded by the laughing gnome?) where you can salute him every now and then.

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