You may remember that I am a member of the GAYBC. We're a rather informal bike club without rules or organization, but we do have a slogan: Ride Hard. I was riding with a fellow GAYBC member out at the 1996 Olympic Mountain Bike Course today. Everything was going great until I hit mile 0.99, so barely out of the gate. I wasn't on a crazy down-hill or anything, just peddaling up some granite slab. I heard a snap or a pop of some kind and felt a lurch backwards. I got off the bike thinking that I had broken another
seat (that's a funny story in itself, and it was the cause of a HUGE bruise on my butt). I checked out the seat and could not find the problem with it, but while I was inspecting the seat I saw this:
The frame of my bike was not just cracked, it was almost broken in two pieces!! (Check out the silvery line on the purple frame, definitely not suposed to be there.) I could not believe my eyes. I was speechless for a few seconds, standing in the middle of the trail wondering what the hell had just happened. Nick called back down the hill to see what was up and all I could yell back was, "Holy shit dude, my frame just broke!!" So, I walked all the way back to the parking lot and waited for Nick to finish his ride. I stopped and chatted with a few guys along the way back... they were sufficiently impressed.
For anyone who isn't a bike rider, it's really hard to break an aluminum mountain bike frame. This bike is just over a year old, so it's modern technology and everything. The other interesting part is, this bike has several parts made of carbon fiber which you could imagine breaking before the metal.... but no. Though, this did break along a weld point, so it could be crappy work product.
Here's a shot to put it in perspective. You can see the seat post coming up out of the area where the break is. The crack goes around both sides of that vertical tube, almost came clear off.