Farewell Old Chum: Ode to a Saddle...

It was just a modest mountain bike ride on a familiar route. The kind of ride that even the wife, who's sum total of yearly dirt riding normally equates to spinning her road bike across that patch of lawn at the nearby park, might tackle with only a modicum of stress. A couple curb hops where the trail crosses a roadway, a few spots where you try to pinball between, and off, the bald pates of rocks protruding from the path. No drops that would cause carnage, or concern.

It was just enough, though. Just enough for my favorite saddle, my fifteen year old Selle San Marco to give up the ghost, go under, bite the dust, kick the bucket, cease and desist, all at the same time. I want to give thanks, and recognition, for all those years of trusty, unwavering service. Truth is you are/were just a saddle, and as such don't care in that way inanimate objects typically do. As such, this remembrance is as much for me and my benefit. Maybe it will strike a chord with a reader or two as well.

a recent photo / happier times

You were the one component that ever transitioned from road to dirt. More than that, you did so with eager willingness and great success. I can't even remember now which bike you began life on - the C'dale seems likely, but maybe it was the resurrected Basso. When I was bit by the mtb bug in 2002, you accepted the reassignment and the challenge that came with it. No other part on a bike was subjected to as much stink n' sweat as you were. It is a true wonder your rails did not shear away years ago. Through it all, the rain, the mud, the dust, the sweat, the weight of the climbs, the pounding of the descents, you remained sturdy and unyielding. You never asked for favors, sat by in silence while fellow components received special treatments at the end of rides - periodic cleaning and maintenance, adjustment and even outright replacement. You simply continued to collect grime like a badge of honor, soaked up sweat without complaint. Providing a sturdy platform for my sit bones was a sacred duty.

Some might say it is a thankless job, the rote life of a saddle. But I am thankful, and was grateful each time I finished a ride free of discomfort. Your position in the hierarchy of household saddles was without dispute. There was even a period of time where you were switched from bike to bike, on a ride by ride basis; which ever bike I chose to ride, on any given day, you were there. That, more than anything, says something about the esteem with which I regarded you. What ever comes next, what ever serves as a replacement, will have a hard act to follow. You have left one heck of a legacy. Ride In Peace old chum.

today / right rail sheared at the post clamp