Brokeback Bike

When you take your bike into the shop for a tuneup three days before a six-week tour, literally the last thing you want to hear is, "Hey I didn't do any repairs because your frame is broken." WHAT. My seatstay had completely separated from the seat tube, and I was informed that I shouldn't ride it at all, much less load it down with 50 lbs of weight. I had three days to find someone who could fix it in Gainesville. Over a weekend.

Luckily, the man who built my bike was on his was into town for a bike polo tournament, and Travis' bike mechanic roommate Brian keeps welding equipment in his massive storage unit/workshop. Justin built my Old Field Cycles from about five years ago and it has served me well, but apparently the offroad abuse I subjected the bike to last tour took its toll.

Justin quickly removed the components that shouldn't be exposed to extremely hot flame, lit the torch and within 20 minutes everything was back together. I don't know very much about welding, but from what I understand Justin melted a rod of metal to superglue the seatstay to the seat tube, and when it cooled, a solid connection was formed. How's that for technical.

Now here's the part of the story to remember: when you buy from people you know and trust, they bend over backwards to help you when you need it. If I had broken a Trek frame days before tour, Trek certainly wouldn't have stopped what they were doing to weld it back together. Justin did. So that's why you support your local makers and craftspeople.