I helped out a friend’s son this week by lending him a bike built out of the spare parts I had lying around. This taught me 2 things a) I am an extreme hoarder and if left to my own devices I would probably end up living in a house of junk and b) that riding an old bike can bring back memories. The bike in question is a 2013 Orange Five (Pretty much the same as the one pictured here although this photo is of a Factory Jackson long-termer) with 26” Stan’s Flow wheels, Hope E2 brakes and a Rockshox Pike fork. Although some the parts had been used/broken/lost over time the core of the bike was still there in the frame and we upgraded it to a 10 speed with a clutched mech. As I built the bike, I leant the 26” wheels up against my 29er and it just looked like I was building a kids bike as the size difference was so dramatic. I must admit to thinking how much “Better” things were on new bikes and how I was quite glad to get all the junk out of my garage.
However, as soon as I swung my leg over the finished bike, all the memories of riding it flooded back. Trail rides around Coed Y Brenin forest, racing mates on Chicksands dual slalom, charging down Aston Hill and a week in Morzine. All the laughs, fun and beers came back instantly as my feet spun the pedals in a familiar riding position. By the time I’d done 1 lap of the driveway I didn’t want to give the prized possession away and for a fleeting moment I thought of calling the plan off. I didn’t. My friend’s son has the bike which he is over the moon about and he is off creating his own memories, but I’m already on eBay trying to find another frame.