Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Open Letter to Mark Lynskey

Dear Mark:

I'm writing this to let you know how you saved my a$$.

First, let me be clear that by a$$, I mean my posterior. My tush. My keister.

The dollar signs are in no way a commentary on the price of your bicycles. They ain't cheap (although I managed to get mine at a ridiculously good price), but then quality such as this rarely is. Especially titanium quality. I mean, it's a rare metal, so it's expensive. And it's only a little easier to work with than adamantium (the stuff that Wolverine's skeleton is lined with, for my nerd readership), so anybody that sells a titanium bike cheap is an idiot.

Of course, I'm not calling you an idiot, even though I did get my titanium Lynskey pretty cheap. And I certainly wouldn't call Lynn Greer at Gran Fondo (a.k.a., "the Greatest Bike Shop in the Universe", where I bought this bike) an idiot. Not just because he's my friend, and not just because he is certainly not an idiot. And only partially because I'm a little afraid of him ... well, maybe more than a little. He can be crazy intense.

So, we're clear, right? There are no idiots here, even though I have been known to do idiotic things. But I was certainly no idiot when I bought this bike.

Of course, again, to give credit where credit is due, I did not just decide one morning that I wanted to buy a new Lynskey randonneuring bike. Credit for that has to go to Lynn ... or maybe his wife, Vida. They knew that I wanted a new randonneuring bike, and that I probably needed a new randonneuring bike. I was just finishing up a season where I rode a 1200K on an aluminum Masi, and although I survived this ride, it was not without damage, and it certainly wasn't an entirely pleasant experience. They knew, and I knew, that a custom geometry frame made out of a more forgiving material would make future brevets more enjoyable.

So, Lynn put together a great deal, and RandoGirl gave the OK. All I had to do was get measured and decide what to put on the top tube.

Which brings us back to my a$$.

I've now been on this wonderful bicycle for just over a year. I have crashed it once, I have raced on it, I have been on it for 18 hours and 250 miles almost non-stop, and I have ridden lots of brevets and centuries and just little fun trips and commutes. Basically, I now have almost 5,000 miles on this bike.

And I still love it. Rarely this season did I find its caress unkind, and most of those instances were probably the result of too much time on other ill-fitting bikes ... or maybe some shot shorts.

I rode my Lynskey on some crappy roads this year. When I had ridden those crappy roads on other bikes, I would raise up out of the saddle a bit. Not so with this bike, as it somehow smothered the crap.

Some bikes would make you pay for this shock-absorption. Not this one. When I want to quickly climb a hill, or jump for a county-line sprint, it is right there with me. If my legs are giving power, then the Lynskey returns speed.

A lot of fast bikes are twitchy, but not this one. Since I don't have mad bike racer skillz, I don't take my hands off of the bars much ... but I can on my Lynskey. It goes straight when that's the way I want to go, and when I lean into a turn it carves a sweet tight curl ... like Danish butter. Mmmm ... butter.

And, of course I don't have to tell you how tough it is ... I mean, it is made of titanium. When I crashed on some gravel on a turn in March, my wheel tacoed and I had a couple of scratches on the left brake hood. But the frame? Fuhgeddaboudit.

But, back to my butt.

In 2010, I plan to do a full series of brevets, culminating in the fall with a 1000K. In 2008, I took at least a full week off the bike before the 600K and 1200K, to ensure that the "human/saddle interface" was unmarred by lingering issues. This year, I won't have to do that. This year, with this bike, I feel pretty sure that I could go out next weekend and ride a 600K without any problems ... other than suffering from the cold and wind, and of course the lack of sleep and muscle stress that are inevitable with riding 375 miles in 40 hours or less.

Part of this may be due to the fact that I'm pretty well trained up right now, but most of it is due to you and the wonderful bike that you built for me. You helped make 2009 a great year for me in cycling, and you have given me hope for an even better 2010. For this, I thank you from the bottom ... of my heart.



  1. Just saw this. I'm glad everything has worked out so well for you. And I'm pleased that us non-idiots have saved your butt. Did miss you last night at the shop.

    Have a great year, Mark