Yesterday evening and again this morning I get a pair of “thank-you” notes from recent clients. Last night’s was from a couple living in Philadelphia who picked up their frames in the spring about a month apart. The second was from a woman who uses her bike to commute five days a week and spends a LOT of time on a bike.
I am posting this entry, not to get a pair of testimonials up on the interweb, but to illustrate two things. First, the trio of clients represented are very different riders riding very different bikes in very different ways. We get all kinds here and with the exception of mountain bikes and recumbents, we build for them all. Second, what we have been able to do for these three riders is what we live for. We have been able to make their time on a bike better in a number of ways, sometimes safer, and more memorable. Reprinted below are the two letters with some identifying information and names deleted for privacy. And yes, the second letter did bring tears to my eyes when I read it. We have a great time here at Spectrum. Thank you everyone for giving us the opportunity to do what we do.
We spent 3 days last week in the hills of north-central PA, just below the finger lakes of NY, visiting the area around the Grand Canyon of PA. Turns out that Grand Canyon is neither— but it’s a nice gorge. We knew nothing of the area, rented a cabin for a couple of nights, and rode our bikes 3 days. I’d found some routes online at MapMyRide.com
, wondering why there weren’t more routes in the hills instead of just along the lame rail-to-trail path. Well, now I know. Of the 130 or so miles we rode, about 10 were paved. Everything else was dirt/gravel/rock logging roads in the hills. In other words, it was huge fun. The first day was the craziest, heading up this rocky 25 min climb, then turning left on what google maps shows is a road, but was deep (6” deep) gravel, which then turned into jeep track, which then turned into no trail at all on the descent, before turning into some steep singletrack. In the singletrack, I went through a swale where a rock sliced open 3 cm of the sidewall on my rear tire (a Conti Grand Prix 400 25-mm with, oh, 200 miles on it), so I had to boot it. We rode another 110 miles on it like that on the “roads” of the area, and although I twice flatted on the rear, the boot held. Woo-hoo! Right now I have some old Conti 28-mm Gatorskins on there to keep the Philadelphia glass and crap from ruining my days. Anyway, we had a great time, and the Spectra, hope to be do-anything bikes, proved themselves exactly that. Take THAT, plastic road bikes! Thanks, Tom. Next up, the bikes go to Italy (the Apennines) for more unknown roads. R.”
“Hi, I wanted to send you a thank you. I’m sure you get a lot of email like this and I hope you don’t mind if I gush on a bit about this bike. I should have taken a test ride when I picked it up then I could have gone on about it in person. I’ve ridden it everyday since I got it ,except today, I’m not ready to get it wet yet.
I’ve never had a bike that feels like this one. It’s sooo smoooth . I don’t know if you’re a music fan but it’s like really good jazz smooth. That’s my first thought. Then, some practical things, on my commute I have some left turns to make and I always look over my shoulder for traffic and try really hard to not swerve into the lane. I must turn my shoulders? I don’t know ,on this bike NO SWERVE. I was so amazed that I went around the block so I could make 3 more lefts. I was sure I imagined it. That must be some feat of bike engineering. Awesome!
Of course the fit is perfect. I have zero need to shift, slide, move, or adjust myself in any way to be more comfortable. I could not be more comfortable. Also I’ve always needed a rack and have put one on all of my bikes. This is the first time I’ve NOT had to be aware of it. I’d gotten used to the feeling of having something added-on ,in tow, and having to compensate for the weight shift on a downhill curve or pulling uphill. None of that now , it’s all one .
I was riding home the other night ,it was late, dark and quiet, which is what I like about riding at night, I was just easy pedaling, gliding ,all but floating up the road, and an experience I had in art school came to mind. We went to the National Gallery in D.C. and they have a room with all Ellsworth Kelly paintings, he’s the ultimate modern colorist, which if you’re not familiar means nothing, but the point is I was in the presence of work so finely tuned that it made the air in the room hum. That is how I’m feeling about this bike. I may never ride another bike. I’m spoiled already. Anyway, enough said, I just love it. A million thanks, and I’ve attached a photo of very happy me and my bike if you’d like for your records, K.”