Saying goodbye to an old friend…
I just sold my Trek 520 tonight to someone on Craigslist. It has been laying around the apartment sad and unused, a shade of a shade of its former glory. I remember when I first bought the bike in 2006. I had just left my job at a law firm. I was making the “big step” from a mouse pusher to a photographer, into the great unknown. I needed a bike to carry all my photography gear. That’s when I bought an Xtracycle and my identity as Eco-Friendly Bicycling Photographer was born.
At around the same time, I stumbled upon a book Miles From Nowhere on the dusty shelves of Acres of Books (a second hand bookstore in Long Beach that is no longer). It was about a husband and wife that traveled the world by bicycle and it lit my imagination on fire.
I took the Trek 520 on my first proper bicycle tour in Oregon. It was heavy and I overpacked it, but it began my love affair with bicycle touring and renewed my sense of adventure. Since then I’ve ridden it down the coast of California, up and over the Santa Ynez mountains and thousands of miles just commuting in town.
Tonight, I say goodbye. It’s going to a good home. A PHD student at UCLA that is interested in touring. When I asked him how he had heard of touring, he said he saw a picture of a bike somewhere with all these bags and he was just amazed that people did that sort of thing.
I remember that was my first reaction when I first saw a touring bike on a road trip (of the car variety) to Vancouver. I saw these cyclists with panniers and a BOB trailer struggling up a hill in the Redwoods area of California. I was struck with complete awe and I wished that one day I could do something like that.
The bike now belongs to Luan. I hope it serves him well.
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