In preparation for our move to San Francisco I decided that it's time to take a sentimental goodbye my old trustworthy mountainbike.
I bought the bike in 1991 from the little bike shop Eriksbergs Cykel in the neighbourhood where I grew up. It was the former sponsored competion bike of Tony Helmersson who was a prominent mountainbiker on the swedish scene, especially in downhill. The basic frame was a Marin Rocky Ridge but most gear was upgraded with for the time very good items such as front suspended form from RockShox (unusual back then) and Shimano XT.
I rode the bike a lot around Uppsala before dragging it around the world on my travels. It's probably the only item that has been with me on every move I've made to Stockholm - Melbourne - Stockholm - Singapore - Stockholm - Sydney - Singapore - Chicago - Fort Lauderdale.
Amazing enough the bike held together all these years despite very heavy usage. The front fork was ruined when I shipped it back from Melbourne but they must have drove over the thing with a forklift. The rims finally wore so thin from braking wear that they started cracking when in Chicago 2006. Except for that and change of seat, tires and brake pads it's all original. The aluminum (or aluminium as say in Europe) frame seems indestructible even though the last few years on the sunny and humid balcony in Fort Lauderdale did oxidize it rather heavy.
A few memorable moments from our past... many of them still making themselves reminded with scars and miscellaneous pains at times
Uppsala, Sweden, 1991
When jumping a little obstacle my tube-less front wheel managed to completely blow out flipping me a good few yards in the air. After that I've been pretty conservative with tube-less tires and stick with the good old trusted ones.
Uppsala, Sweden, 1992
On one of my long rides around the outskirts of town I came upon the old BMX track in Gottsunda. Tried to get some air on the jumps but the rather heavy mountainbike meant I landed the front wheel on the second of a double-jump. Slid down the hill on my calf and left quite a lot of skin in the gravel.
Uppsala, Sweden, 1994
Unusally snowy winter allowed me to ride mini-downhill runs down the rather steep eastern slope of Uppala Slott. Three little misserable headlights attached to the handlebars made for pretty exciting runs in the middle of the pitch dark Swedish winter nights until I went of the track in a corner and tumbled down the whole hill miraculously avoiding trees and sharp rocks.
Melbourne, Australia, 1997
Biked the little Capital City Trail along the Yarra River when I came upon a horrible trail of blood running for 30 yards or so. Looked so grizzly I hoped it was some prank but it wasn't. The day before a mentally unstable fellow had jumped out of the bushes and stabbed a guy passing on a bike in the throat killing him.
Stockholm, Sweden, 1999
On what was meant to be a rather docile little bike tour of Nackareservatet with my old buddy Peter Öhman I managed to jam the front wheel between two rocks and flip over. The SPD pedals didn't let go and the chain sprocket dug into my ankle leaving me with a nice scar on my ankle.
Out riding East Coast Park at night with Vannessa and friends Micke and Marina. On a stright I made real good speed and came upon a few people walking the bike path. Veered over to the pedestrian path but failed to notice that on that single spot all along the parks miles of paths there was a low concrete barrier between the paths. Front wheel dived and I did a pretty acrobatic sommersault skid-stop on the asphalt.
Riding Pulau Ubin with Håkan, Jörgen and Jörgen's sons Ludde and Totte. A surprisingly undeveloped (at the time) island just of Singapore where you could still bike old quarries, coconut plantations and rain forest and see wild chicken, boar and all kinds of lizards and snakes.
Chicago, IL, 2007
Biking along Lakefront Trail on lake Michigan with my old childhood buddy Erik brought back memories of our youth. The Chicago waterfront ona warm summers evening is a great place and Meigs Field south of the planetarium provides a little taste of nature in the middle of this otherwise very urbanized megapolis.
Fort Lauderdale, FL, 2009
Mountainbiking in Oleta River Park was one of the few ways for us to escape the urban sprawl of Broward and Miami-Dade. After a ride on the many trails we rented kayaks and standup paddleboards and cooled down with dips in the sea.