I pulled this old toolbox out the other day. It was covered with dust and cobwebs since it's been sitting in the shop for maybe 10 years?
How many airplane flights has this thing made? LeTour, Il Giro, various Trump and DuPont Tours as well as a couple of Ironman's in Hawaii. Tour of Switzerland. Countless weeks in the French or Italian Alps.
Its travel started when bikes were steel or the fancy ones, titanium and "click-shifting" was new and exotic. The shift levers were still on the downtube while the brake cables were still often-as- not, sticking out into the wind.
Its travel ended when bikes were carbon fiber and everyone had STI or Ergopower - and a titanium-railed saddle. Tuscany's Eroica events had just begun.
Its replacement, one just like this but yellow, sits in our attic storage spot in Italy, waiting for each May to come round when it's opened and the tools carefully stowed within get used again.
Meanwhile, this old one sits here in Iowa. I'm sure it doesn't miss the rough handling of the airline "gorillas" as, containing its weighty contents it's thrown onto luggage carousels and tossed into airplane cargo holds, but does it miss the adventures?
Not the adventure of sitting in the back of a van driving all over France or Italy, but the adventure of being opened up and its tools being used to effect a repair on a client's bicycle.
A client on his or her "dream trip" to ride in the wheel-tracks of cycling's greats, whose bike has broken down or just needs a little tweak to perform "just right". The rider might need a pat on the back or an encouraging word as well.
The tools in this box never let their owner down. Forks were purchased and installed at the base of Alpe d'Huez , rear derailluer hangers bent back from the effects of a catastrophically bad shift then reamed out and repaired with epoxy glue. Broken spokes were replaced and wheels trued.
Flat tires were repaired. Broken chains fixed. Snapped cables replaced. It goes on and on.
If this toolbox could talk...