Now then children, gather round so I can tell you a story....
Once there was a young lad, just becoming a teenager. He rode his 21", 5" too big, Emmelle bike all around Nottinghamshire, learning the skills of the mountain bike rider. These were much different times, when you rode one bike for everything - and this lad was no exception. His passion was for downhill but trials and cross country he loved too. In fact back in those days these things were rarely given a title. Instead the lad just rode his bike everywhere.
One day, a challenge was accepted to bunny hop the long jump pit at the local school. The incident itself is too gruesome to retell now, but the attempt failed, resulting in bent forks and frame.
The Emmelle was Dead.
Thankfully the young lads passion showed everywhere he went, and his kindly parents, plus a willing bike shop, meant that the lad could purchase the frame, forks, stem, headset, BB and rear brake from a sadly broken down 1992 GT Tequesta. It was a wonderful sight, it's gleaming gloss black paint stylishly covered in white stripes, as was the fashion in those times.
All the upgraded parts from the Emmelle mated with the GT to form the bike of his dreams.
THIS was the first real MTB for the now teenage lad.
It was ridden everywhere, to school, at school, in Clipstone Forest, at the weekends in the Peak District and one memorable trip to the Lake District where it was carried up the mighty Helvellyn. It was even raced...
However, one day, tragedy struck. While out earning some precious upgrade money, thieves wrenched away the cycle whilst locked to a bus stop.
It was never seen again.
Yes, other bikes took it's place. It was insured and was quickly replaced by a Kona Kilauea but by then the magic paint schemes and odd brakes had moved on. Yes the bikes were better but somehow the magic had faded away.
They all came and some passed by. The lad was now a man, but still the same excitement about 2 wheels burned inside. He had always had a bike and now had 2 modern steeds. Carbon fibre, suspension, disc brakes - It was all good.
One day a strangely blue website was found on the man's computer. It professed to celebrate those glory years. Here were people who kept alive those old bikes, despite derision from some and sometimes heartbreaking searches for long lost components.
Indeed the skinwall tyre was hailed as a holy chalice in this domain.
Yes, there were plenty of dream bikes on there, ones that the lad had seen in the magazines. But his passion was for his Tequesta. No spark existed for those shiny treasures from the expensive end of the glossy catalogues. Could another Tequesta be found, would he dare to hope?
A request was put out - had anyone seen one? Like a father searching for a lost child the man searched high and low. It seemed there was never very many around in 1992 and this model was seldom seen, so the chances were slim.
One day a message came through - one had been spotted in a Bradford pawn shop. The man rushed to the shop, a dirty squalid place where he found the correct GT stood between supermarket rust wagons. But beneath the grime and rusty a gem was ready and waiting to be polished.
A deal was done. The man was so excited. 20 years stripped away as the bike was wheeled away. It was heartbreaking to see it in such a poor condition but the man had a plan. A noble plan.
The bike was stripped, help was sought was the blue website. Experts came out and egged the man on. However funds were very tight - but this made it more exciting. Deals were done, parts bought and sold to replicate that original bike. Blistered hands, black dust, seized parts, handpainted decals. The full story is too much for this tale - it's full extent is at http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=138265
Eventually all was quiet. The last few pieces were polished and adjusted. Old memories flooded back as cantilevers were set up an headsets tightened.
It was finished.
The man was satisfied. His work complete, he vowed never to leave his beloved black beauty again. It would be ridden, yes, and ridden hard, but it would be cherished forevermore.