Monday, 15 December 2008

RIP Kestrel 1993-2008

Over the past couple of years I had begun to wonder about the state of my sexy fun summer bike - a red Kestrel first generation carbon fibre bike. In my quieter moments I had to balance my thoughts between visions of a catastrophic failure on a fast windy descent vs $0 in the budget for a new bike. The fates now have taken the balance scales out of my hands and firmly yanked on the chain of the failure side (fortunately without the aforementioned adjective).

A couple of months ago Robin complained of my bike "creaking". I didn't hear it but sometimes you don't - you ride away from the noise I guess. He thought the crank was moving too much so diagnosed a worn out bottom brac
ket. No problem, off to our favorite bike shop - Sammamish Valley Cycles - place an order, and even get personal delivery from Mark Thomas before our weekly group ride on Sunday. Sunday evening Robin heads to the basement to install the new bb. About 45 minutes later he comes looking for me and finds me flopped in front of the TV - uh, wait - I mean preparing a 4 course dinner while tutoring an underpriveleged youth in calculus and listening to classical music - yes, that's it. Anyway, he reports the aluminum cylinder that hods the bottom brackets has delaminated from the carbon fibre frame (or whatever) and the bike is toast. A great many and mixed emotions accompany this news. Hopeful that Kestrel will offer some kind of replacement under their lifetime guarantee thus possibly securing a new bike, relief that the end didn't manifest itself in one of the painful and gory ways I had previously imagined, guilty at having secretly plotted ways to replace it (although not successfully), and lastly and mostly sadness since this is the nicest bike I have ever owned (or more correctly stolen from my husband) and I've had hundreds of fantastic rides on it. I conquered the Death Ride on it, rode my very first brevet on it, joined in many fast and fun group rides on it, redeemed a DNF of 1000km brevet on it, and completed the bike leg of Canada Ironman on it.

It is red, sleek, and shiny and always got attention even when lighter, newer, and fancier bikes were around. My dear Kestrel, you will be missed.
The ever patient Kestrel leaning on the picnic table in Ashford waiting to carry me to Paradise and beyond.