It's seen its share
of dreams and hopes
And never went out of style
The more I play it, the better it sounds
Way back in the early to mid nineties I fancied myself quite the young up and coming mountain biker. My formative years as a distance runner combined with my freakish balance and daring nature made me an ideal xc rider. My burgeoning success came with a rather heavy price. Literally! Mountain biking is expensive. I got my first job to buy my first real bike and all the components I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, picking up garbage and emptying trash cans in Shelburne Falls was not as lucrative as I hoped. As a result much of my early equipment was amateurish and borderline cheap. All of that would change in the early months of nineteen ninety-six.
Leafing through month after month of Mountain Bike Action brought me to the conclusion that the only way I could possibly be a credible racer was if I had clipless pedals. I had skimped and saved every penny of Christmas money and allowance ( I only picked up garbage in the summer) to make this major purchase. I bought a pair of highly recommended Onza H.O. pedals that proved to be incredibly disappointing in the long run and began my search for shoes. Obviously with any sport there are varying levels of footwear. Bottom dollar starter shoes to the Holy Grail of cycling footwear, the Italian leader in elegance and performance, Sidi. Early on in the search I got it into my mind that Sidi was the only option if I wanted to be the best.
Needless to say my parents were eager to pipe in their opinion about their son throwing down one hundred and seventy five dollars on a pair of cycling shoes. There was the obvious objection based on price alone but also the more reasonable observation that I was still only five foot six inches tall and growing by the month. Even Bob Perry at Bicycles Unlimited in Greenfield tried to talk me into a pair of Lake's that resemble a hiking boot gone horribly awry. In an early display of stubborn behavior, that would become the norm that would ultimately lead to great success in endurance events, I bought the Sidi's.
Every mountain bike ride and a small percentage of road rides have been comfortably and stylishly completed in these incredible shoes. The Sidi Dominator II has long since been replaced by flashier updates with newer bells and whistles. I would never do this shoe the disservice of retirement. The fit is not as it once was and the buckles are a bit sticky but these shoes still kick some serious trail. In a perfect world I would be on a massive technical climb and both shoes would simultaneously rip off my scrunched feet. I would bury them on the spot and contemplate this most bittersweet moment. This would be the only fitting end to such a remarkable shoe that has been such a part of my life for the last fourteen years.