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Some Bikes are Special

Some bikes are just special, but not for the reasons you may think. They may not be made of the latest and greatest material and they may not have the newest, best components. Sometimes, certain bikes just fit right and just ride right, and you and that bike do rides that you remember, unlike other bikes that you’ve ridden. Bikes like this join you on adventures.
IMG_0654My Davidson custom steel bike is just such a bike. It was built in 1998 with Reynolds 853/753, and originally was painted navy blue with white panels outlined in orange pinstripes with the Davidson lettering in orange. The original fork was a Look carbon fork painted to match (and that fork was noodly as hell). I’ve ridden this bike a lot. More miles than any other bike I’ve ever owned.

This bike bears the scars of being ridden. I cracked the rear stay and had to have it replaced which is why it is has a different paint job now. At that time, I replaced the fork and it was painted to match as well. This is the bike I was riding when I was car doored and I separated my shoulder and fractured part of my shoulder blade. The bike was okay, but the fork took a hit and needed to be replaced, so now it sports the bare carbon model shown. The paint bears countless scratches from times when I dropped the chain, or that time when I snapped my chain and went down really hard, or that time when my wheels came out from under me in a wet corner on a descent.

I’ve ridden this bike on more double centuries than any other I’ve owned. It’s surprisingly comfortable for rides of that distance. I’ve done countless brevets on this bike, riding through the day and into the night and into the next morning. One night on a brevet, I nearly fell asleep while riding this bike, and after a short nap (off the bike in an old schoolhouse), I remember shivering so hard from the cold I could barely keep the bike on the road. Later, we rode near a farm that had what appeared to be camels in it’s pasture. To this day, I’m not sure if that was real or the result of so many hours on the bike.

I’ve commuted on this bike and I’ve even raced it a few times. I’ve dodged turkeys and pygmy goats on this bike. I’ve been chased by cows and countless dogs on this bike. One morning I had a squirrel hit my wheel and, thankfully, bounce off. This is the bike I was riding the day before I proposed to my wife (while carrying the engagement ring because I didn’t want to leave it at the hotel). This is the bike I was riding on the morning of 9/11/2001 when I learned of the attacks. You could say this bike and I have a history together.

Sometimes, I scavenge this poor bike for parts for my other bikes, and I hang the partially assembled bike from a hook and leave it there. Sometimes for a year or more. The downside to being a cyclist is that newer bikes always come along that seem to promise this wonder ride quality. More stiff, more compliant, less weight….Then, something makes me put the Davidson back together and ride it. Every time that happens, I wonder why I stopped riding it. It rides so nicely. It fits me so well. It brings back the memories of all the other great rides we’ve done together. Well, it’s back together now, and I plan on riding it for a while. It may not always be my daily rider, but I’ll never get rid of it, either. Too many memories.

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Yelp Reviews

Synaptic Cycles
5.0
Based on 68 Reviews
Susan F.
Susan F.
2021-05-16 14:22:50
Thanks for being safe & open during COVID-19. The time we had was amazing. The owner is super friendly and informative. read more
Cynthia K.
Cynthia K.
2021-01-04 07:01:18
Good bikes. Accommodating owner. Love the service they he will deliver and pick up your rentals. The location is in a hilly neighborhood so unless you're... read more
Gaynell D.
Gaynell D.
2020-12-22 08:57:26
Great experience! Visiting family in LA recently was the perfect time to bike some of the scenic trails, canyons and coastline I had always wanted to... read more
Charles O.
Charles O.
2020-12-03 19:07:32
I flew into to LA from Austin to visit family and shipped my bike 2 days before my trip so I could keep fit. Unfortunately, the delivery company did not... read more
W. G.
W. G.
2020-11-27 09:32:39
I rented an electric bike for an out of town visitor so he could join me riding around Dana Point and San Clemente for a day. Shawn made it very easy. He... read more
Aubrey H.
Aubrey H.
2020-11-09 09:04:42
Synaptic Cycles were the only ones renting bikes in the area during covid. Imo renting a bike can be done completely Covid friendly, so I'm not sure why... read more
Kristin Lewis P.
Kristin Lewis P.
2020-09-17 15:33:32
Great experience at Synaptic! I needed a tube replaced on my "purchased for the pandemic cheap and cheery" bike and Shawn took care of it in under 10... read more
Anthony S.
Anthony S.
2020-09-16 10:05:21
If you don't have a way to get your bike to a shop Synaptic is the way to go. Pick up and delivery is such a convenience. I highly recommend them. read more
Nails By Stephanie R.
Nails By Stephanie R.
2020-08-15 20:50:41
We had company in town during Covid and wanted to check out Electric bikes. Shaun was amazing to work with, he has several different types of bikes to rent... read more
Brian V.
Brian V.
2020-08-06 18:34:45
Was difficult To find a bike shop during Covid Called Shawn and he took my bike ... He also takes the time to explain things to you. and yet they deserve... read more
Jessica K.
Jessica K.
2020-05-20 21:19:33
Quarantine restlessness got the best of me but I couldn't find a bike in stores so I ordered one online. It arrived mostly assembled but I quickly realized... read more
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