This is a memorial post, for after three years of having this bike (and one of not riding it), I finally came to my senses and realized the bike was far, far too badass for me.
A few years back, in the heady heyday of “I can buy whatever I want!”, I bought a beautiful bike. I got a deal on it ’cause someone at the store had purchased it previously and then realized that they couldn’t afford it; the 2003 Cannondale Gemini. When I was posting on my livejournal about it (oh, how the times have… not very changed) a friend of mine put it, “If you encounter god on your ride, god will be ridden over.”. I had not seen Kill Bill at the time, but it was still hilarious.
The first things I noticed were how high up the bike was, and how wide the handlebars were. The wide grip seemed to evoke be the practical, powerful feeling that those (ridiculous) chopper style bicycles seem to go for, but just end up being impractical and almost impossible to turn, whereas the height was just the result of the additional clearance the bike was built for, to better ride over logs and rocks and gods.
It really felt like you were driving something large and luxurious, plush yet unstoppable. The tires were huge and almost never lost traction, the suspension was glorious and kept my extremely bike-noob self in once piece in and around the Don trails, which are the most badass trails in the area. It was not without its issues, though. It was definitely a downhill bike, designed to be ridden off of cliffs and up giant conifers somewhere on the west coast, and as such, whenever there was a hill to climb, the rear suspension turned it into a nightmare of bobbing and wasted energy. I think the only other problem was me; I became “one of those guys”. With the nice bike that he can barely ride, with the expensive camera that he uses to take pictures of his feet, stepping onto the court in $200 shoes, goggles, name-brand shorts and jersey, he can’t even hit the backboard; the consummate yuppie hobbyist.
At first I was determined to get into better shape, and learn to ride, and be thoroughly awesome, and I accomplished this, somewhat. I learned to bunnyhop, I rode off things and down flights of stairs, I finally (late one night at the tender age of 24) managed to lock up my rear wheel and skid to a stop, but despite the exhiliration I found in getting better at these things, I just wasn’t taking the bike out often enough.
Eventually, I sold it to a friend’s brother for a good price. Wherever you are, beautiful Cannondale, I hope you’re still riding over everything in your path.