A few years ago, Todd from Black Cat Bicycles was on a road ride with a friend of his when they were both struck by a car, exceeding the speed limit on the narrow, remote road they were on. It was a terrifying experience as Todd fought to save his friend’s life, while working through his own sustained injuries. At the end of the ordeal, both of them survived, yet with some serious injuries. Luckily no one died and both cyclists can still ride. Ok, something died: Todd’s love for road cycling. Ok, maybe “died” is a bit extreme, but after an experience like that, I can’t say I’d be stoked to kit up and hit the road again.
Usually when incidents like this happen, the bicycles involved are reduced to twisted, unsalvageable forms. Yet, Todd’s bike survived. In fact, it was damaged more when it was loaded into the California Highway Patrol car. Cats have nine lives, right? Well, this Black Cat has 8 left. 8 lives is a lot for a road bike and at first glance, this jade beauty might look like your average Black Cat road bike.
… Until you notice the stem, the head tube, the lack of external bearing cups (is it a Chris King i6? I can’t recall), then the carbon seat tube and top tube. Yeah, this bike is very special. It was a NAHBS bike from Sacramento 2012 and when you sit back and think about how a carbon seat tube and top tube works with a lugged steel bike, you’ll end up scratching your head for sure.
It was an eerie sensation pulling this bike off Todd’s wall, removing the visible cobwebs and pumping air in the tires so I could photograph it. I knew the story was coming and hearing him narrate while I was documenting this beauty really made me think about how fragile we all are while we’re out on our bikes, surrounded by cars and distracted drivers.
Be safe out there, y’all and thank you, Todd for sharing this piece of your history with me.