We make holes in teeth!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Dump Truck Lives

This blog has gotten boring lately. I know it, you know it, we all know it. I find that bike blogs in general tend to suffer in the summer. People don't write as much, don't read as much, and those that do write tend to be waist deep in the season and are obsessing about stupid details nobody cares about. I fit into that category. Sorry.

Today I'm just going to tell a story. Yes, it is a bike related story. And yes, it has to do with me obsessing about my bike in the context of me obsessing about the race this weekend. But it's a story nonetheless. There are no dragons, no heroes, and no princesses though I think my wife does a really good impersonation of one. But what it does have is a happy ending.

As the loyal reader fully well knows by now my Fox Float 120 RL suspension fork shit the bed on the last bomb down Stone Gate at Mahlon Dickerson Sunday. There was a lot of oil coming from one of the seals before that, which was a topic of conversation as Alex refilled his camelbak in the park during the ride. Well on that last downhill it finally gave up the ghost and called it a day. So I had a broken fork, starring as the Dragon in the motion picture remake of this story.

I scrambled, and as I mentioned yesterday I had a lot of offers of support but I chose to go with Steve's hookup with Cycle Works. He called them Monday morning and left a message on their machine before they even opened. I don't know what he said but by late morning I was on the phone with Frank, one of the owners of the shop. He said no problem, bring it in, we'll take care of it. Cool, problem solved, I hope. Until the proverbial money is in the bank, well the money isn't in the bank. Know what I'm saying?

That night I got home from work, and discussed with Natalie (the wife, starring as the princess) that I needed to drop the Dragon off in Byram, which ironically is the same town the 24 hour race is in. It's not that far away but anything near route 80 in rush hour is a headache. Well the Princess left the Castle (our house) with the Dragon on a quest to find a Hero. For the sake of historical accuracy, it was 6:00 pm on Monday evening.

The Princess dropped the Dragon off with the Assistant Hero Frank (sorry man, John is the lead when Hollywood comes calling) at around 7:00. I got on the phone with Frank to explain what I was hearing and the extremely short version of the conversation goes like this:

Frank: So what are you seeing?

Me: Compress the fork.

Frank: (Awful sound which I can hear over the phone) Hmmmmm.

Me: Have you ever heard that before?

Frank: No, neither has John and he's the suspension expert.

Me: Great (sarcastically).

Enter the Hero, John. I can only assume he was wearing armor and a sword on his belt. I didn't actually see this but it only stands to reason that was the case. Anyway, Frank claimed John had a "cross-eyed look" when he heard the sound. He also said he was putting gloves on because he was curious. It was 7:30 and the shop closed at 8:00.

I can only imagine what happened after that but apparently he found a broken rebound spring which I now have in my possession. He said he never saw a fork break like that. So if nothing else, I have special skills in one particular area. Apparently he started the project by rigging it back together as best he could but he wasn't happy having it as a working-but-modified fork, so he pulled it apart again and got the piece he needed by pulling apart a fork on one of the showroom bikes to get what he needed. Then he reassembled it and it was good as new. Mixed in this series of events were apparently some calls to Fox and some other tweaks and modifications but I don't recall the details at the moment. In the end, the Hero killed the Dragon which is what I was looking for.

Again, for historical accuracy I will note the time. It was 1:00 Tuesday afternoon. The shop opens at 11:00. That means he was able to turn the fork around in 3 business hours from getting it in his hands. To say that's impressive is an understatement. Add to this the fact that neither Frank nor John had ever met me, talked to me, or even heard of me before this and that's some pretty amazing service. That may also be an understatement.

Enter the Princess again, who went to pick up the fork Tuesday afternoon. I returned to the Castle after a long day in Brooklyn, the Princess holding a the (now good) Dragon in her hand. By 8:00 pm Tuesday night the bike was fully back together, ready to roll once again, nice functioning fork once again where it should be.

From leaving the house Monday to being back on the bike Tuesday the total turnaround time was 26 hours. That's insane, just truly amazing for someone they've never dealt with before. Obviously this is an incredible load off my shoulders at the 11th hour. Now I can go about my business obsessing about what flavor of Pringles to buy and what pizza toppings to get in preparation for the 24 hour race this weekend.

So to the Hero and Assistant Hero, I extend an enormous thanks for helping me out in my time of need. And of course to my Princess, thanks once again for being the glue that holds the Castle together.



  • At 9:51 AM, Anonymous bonefishjake, aka the wizzard said…

    glad you had a good experience with them norm. john and frank are fantastic guys to deal with which is why i switched shops. having people you trust working on your bike is very important.

  • At 2:49 PM, Anonymous steve, aka the Deity said…

    why does jake get to be the wizard? i'm the one who made the call - NO FAIR, I call foul! glad it worked out.

    Steve, AKA the deity

  • At 8:41 PM, Blogger george said…

    Norm, all I can say is that you have such a way with words. If you weren't the proverbial computer tech would make an excellent writer. I also want to say that Natalie should be nominated for an academy supporting actress in this case....
    Or at the very least the Peoples Choice for most awesome wife!


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