The Tank

Here is the next story giving the history of my bike purchases over the years. I had actually forgotten about this bike until I dug up this story to put on the blog this morning. Perhaps it is because I didn’t have it for too long. Still, finding this story brought back some memories!

The death of the Huffy left a void in my evening hours. Finally I found my way to Sunshine Cycle Shop to purchase a new set of fat tires. I had convinced my wife that a better bike would help me avoid the blood bath I experienced earlier.

I had learned some wise lessons during my relationship with the Huffy. Number one: if you want to do any serious mountain bike riding, you had best get a bike that can take the beating!

With that in mind I looked over the selection. Since I had limited funds, I didn’t linger long around the full-suspension jobs. Then I explained my problem to Mike. “Look, I want a bike for under $300 I can ride off road without fear of impaling myself on a cracked frame.” He led me over to a Diamondback Traverse.

This is not the actual bike, but it is the same type.

Ahhhhh, a machine with strength! It was a hardtail with decent beginning components. The only questions were its height and weight. The 22 inch frame was one of the larger ones in the shop. However, with my 34 inch inseam, it didn’t seem so bad at all. Weighing in at around 35 pounds, the Traverse was heavy. Yet, at only 155 pounds, I wasn’t carrying around a lot of extra weight myself.

I made up my mind. I wanted it. So after adding last year’s model Specialized Future Shock front fork (there went my $300 spending limit), I wheeled my new treasure out the door. I hit the trails that same day and realized what I had missed banging around on a Huffy!

The fateful day did come. I don’t live far from my job and I would occasionally ride the Traverse to the office at Bob Jones University. I dutifully locked it to the bike rack and went about my day. At least, I did until the day I was late for work and wasn’t as careful. When I came out from work that day—the Diamondback wasn’t there.

Of course, I went into a state of denial. Surely, I parked it somewhere else. Certainly no one on the campus of a well-known Christian school would steal the bike (besides being a sin—it would be really stupid because it would be hard to hide). No, it was gone.

I went to Sunshine to look at the possibilities of getting yet another bike. Mike told me to wait and call around to the bike shops in the area. Perhaps it would show.
The next day I received a call at work. “Hi, Jonathan?” “Yes,” I replied thinking it was just another call on a busy day. “Yeah, this is Mike. Come on over and pick up your bike. We have it at the shop.” It didn’t take me long to let my assistant know I was going to gone for a bit and head out the door.

“Yeah, some junior high age kids came in with your bike.” Mike began telling the story. “I asked them where they got the bike. They said some guy had sold it to them on the street. Since it was to big for any of them to ride, they decided they would see if they could sell it to the shop for more money. I told them that it looked like a bike reported missing and I needed to check on it. Before I could get any further they were up and out the door!”

Well, that 22 inch frame did come in handy! Best we can figure, these kids came onto the campus looking for some new rides. Seeing a couple of nice bikes they simply walked them off the campus as if they were their own. Once off campus they started riding the bikes. Problem was, the Traverse was simply to big for them. We could tell this had to be the reason because of the scratches on the paint due to numerous spills.

I never rode my bike to work again. I also enjoyed my first full MB season. However, it didn’t take long before my skill level increased and the weight of the bike placed me at the back of the pack on long climbs. I knew it was time to move on to a new level.

The next story will feature one of my favorite bikes that I nicnamed “The Monster.”