I’ve had this Cannondale Track for nearly three years now. I’ve never considered the bike totally mine; it’s obviously been owned and rode hard over the course of twenty-one years, by numerous riders. I’ve been told it was Jonathan Burkett’s bike and appeared completely sticker bombed in the Mash SF film; evidence proves it true, but even if not, it doesn’t matter. This bike holds a special place in my life.
After riding a Fuji conversion fixed gear for awhile, I learned what a track bike really was; at that point, I needed one. I saw a picture of a Cannondale Track, this particular one was very rad and the picture was taken with the bike surrounded by snow. It made a lasting impact on me. From that point on, I began to seek out a Track. Prices were outrageous, as they still are. I stumbled across a bargain and what would be my future Track on ebay. I think I paid around $400 for the frame, fork, Chris King GripNut, and Phil Wood bottom bracket. Since purchasing, Chris King rebuilt the headset, which I still have. I’ve never removed the bottom bracket. I’ve put thousands of miles on the bike; to and from work, around the city, through the countryside and around Colorado Springs when I was there. To this day, I’d say this bike is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.
Why do I love it so much? It’s an icon. It’s perfect. I can’t find anything better. The look. Something about the robust tubes, smoothed welds, steel crowned fork, that “Handbuilt in the USA” sticker, and ice blue paint just all works in harmony. The bike is stiff, almost jarring, snappy, fast, light-ish, and aggressive but still practical. It’s the whole package.
The Track I ride has so much character; I wouldn’t trade it for a perfect minty fresh version even if it was offered. I love the scratched and dinged up frame; each scuff tells a story, even if I don’t know it. I love the steel fork, how the paint is gone around the crown of the fork legs and exposes bare aged metal. The track dropouts are nearly void of paint from years of loosening, removing, reinstalling, and tightening wheel bolts. I could keep going, but you get the point. Character is unique and accumulated over years.
I’ve owned and rode many track bikes, but I keep coming back to the Track. I’ve had to take time away from the track bike, and while bitter still, I’ve grown to love and appreciate this bike even more. This time off the Track has made each short trip around the neighborhood, each bombed hill, every skid, each revolution of the crank even more special. Don’t take anything for granted.