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March 28, 2017
This week’s VC ‘bike of the week’ comes from CyclingTips’ founder and Canadian native Wade Wallace.
When Wade moved to Australia twelve years ago he brought this green Cannondale with him and by his own admission he can’t bring himself to get rid of it. Wade explains why this bike in particular has so much sentimental significance despite the brakes, headset and gears being a constant source of frustration!
“Once man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And this ‘6 pack to go’ is one of the only possessions I own that is part of such a life changing story. I tried to sell it a few times before the story fully played out, and now you couldn’t pay me enough to part with this piece of junk.
Twelve years ago my wife and I had our typical quarter-life crisis and moved out to Australia. I had been racing competitively for as long as I could remember and by this time it was the same people, the same races, and perhaps a win once in a while if I was lucky. I was done with cycling. I remember how excited and scared I was in the airport rolling my luggage into check-in which contained a suitcase, a guitar, and this cyclocross bike. Those were the possessions my life was reduced to – and I’ve never found anything so liberating.
The only reason I brought this bike was because I didn’t have a car for the foreseeable future in Melbourne. People would look at this beefy road bike with knobby tyres and look at me like I was riding a UFO. I would tell them that it’s a cyclocross bike, and I’d get a blank stare.
I found myself watching the kiteboarders at St Kilda Beach and thought ‘that’s the sport I want to do!’ Instead of looking at the wheel in front of me for hours on end in the gutter of the road, I’d use the wind for something exhilarating. So I bought a kiteboard and did just that.
Fast forward a few months and as fat as I’ve ever been, I took this bike to some morning bunch rides to see if I could shed a few pounds. It was the dead of winter, pitch black mornings, and a completely foreign scene to me. I don’t know how many times I got dropped before finally making it around with the bunch (after deciding to put some road tyres on!).
Eventually I began doing a few crits and found myself winning on this bike. I even raced my first Melbourne – Warrnambool on this bike (where I found myself back in the gutter!). I quickly got picked up by a fully sponsored team, hopped on a new Look 595, and the ‘6 pack to go’ made its way to the balcony with a drop sheet over it and I rarely thought about it again. I tried to sell it a few times, but nobody wanted a CX bike in Australia. Back under the drop sheet it went.
In 2009 I heard about what possibly was Australia’s first cyclocross race. I pulled out the old ‘6 pack to go’ and made my way down to the track. At the last minute I was offered this beautiful Moots to ride that was my size, so I switched over the pedals, raised the saddle and won the race. The poor ‘6 pack to go’ saw no glory from the sidelines.
By this time I was full-on into the race scene thanks to the ‘6 pack to go’. This bike came all the way from Canada with me, got me back into racing, and enabled me to rekindle my passion for the sport, start CyclingTips from my kitchen table and live the life of my dreams.
Just last weekend I saw the ‘6 pack to go’ with flat tyres, broken spokes, a rusty drivetrain, ripped bartape, all wrapped in spider webs. I decided to pull it out of the shed and give it a wash. One thing led to another and all my spare parts laying around ended up on the bike and this is the end result.
I’m sure I could get a few hundred bucks for it, but it’s priceless to me. It’s ridden in some of the most iconic places in Europe with me and has literally changed my life. Never again will it be for sale, even if the brakes don’t stop for shit, the headset keeps coming loose, the gears barely work, and it rides like a noodle.”
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