It happens any time I sell a bike like my Bridgestone XO-3. The comments come in: “Why did you sell? It’s such a nice bike! And you personalized it! Why sell?” And believe me, bike selling isn’t always easy here at the Urban Adventure League HQ. It’s pretty obvious that any bike that passes through my hands will get personalized my me to some degree. And most bikes I’ve owned have had some degree of sentimental attachment.
Take, for example, the Surly Long Haul Trucker. This was my first “great” bike. (The Centurion Accordo, the bike the LHT replaced, was my first “good” bike, but I destroyed it touring on it.) And my first new bike that wasn’t department store crap. I did a lot with it during the 5 1/2 years I owned it, and at one point I never thought about replacing it, let alone getting rid of it. Still, get rid of it I did. And it was still hard, even though at that point I was over the bike and onto new things. But that emotional attachment…never in my life did a bike have such meaning to me. I toured so much on it, went half-way across a continent, all that stuff. But there was also some emotional purging with the selling of the LHT, mostly because it was so tied to my life with April. April and I are cool, of course, but getting rid of it helped me move on. Still, I look at some old photos of a bike tour with the Long Haul Trucker and I get all sentimental.
While the XO-3 doesn’t have the same degree of emotional attachment, it did have some, so it was still hard to part with it. I had to make some hard decisions with bikes since I moved into my current digs almost a year ago. The sale of the Long Haul Trucker was prompted by the need for fast cash for housing expenses. The XO-3, along with the Rudge Sports, was more prompted by a need to thin the herd for future bike projects and also use the money towards other bike projects.
Since the spring, I knew I had to sell either the XO-3 or the Raleigh Crested Butte at some point. For the longest time I thought I would sell the Crested Butte, but in the last couple months I reversed the decision. I realized that the Crested Butte was too cool to part with just yet, and I wanted to do more stuff with/to it, namely, make it more mountain-bikey again. The XO-3 was as done as it was ever going to get. And while I really enjoyed having a Bridgestone, and an XO series no less, even with all the stuff I’ve done to it, it’s still just an XO-3, the bottom of the heap. If it was a later XO-3 or XO-2 with 26″ wheels, I might reconsider. But I want fatter tires, and there’s only so much fatness I can get with a 700C wheeled bike from the early 90’s.
Granted, I had fun with the XO-3 for the 1 1/2 years I owned it. It’s initial purpose was to be a “fun” bike, and for the first six months, it was. Then when I sold the LHT, it took over as the touringish all-rounder. I had never intended it to be a touring bike when I bought it, but as I was lightening up the touring load in the last year of the LHT I figured that I could make it work for the XO-3. And over the past year it did work, though I never did as much touring as I wanted to. (Thank you, three speed tours!) Everything worked good, but to be honest, as cool as the mustache bars are I could never make them work from a comfort standpoint, and was thinking about changing them before I sold it.
So now the Bridgestone XO-3 has found a new home, someone who just moved to town and needed a bike. A bike that they can do everything on, and need not do anything to.
There was a twinge of sadness when I sold it last Wednesday, but really, I had already moved on well before the stack of twenties was pushed into my hand. In any case there’s more bike projects to look forward to in the future.