Did a nice trip back down memory lane on my Saturday ride with Mia. We had to go up to Rhino Bike Works in Plymouth, NH so that I could pick up a new rear shock for my Cannondale Rush. The original Float R has finally kinda kicked the bucket and it was time to replace it after one rebuild already.
This whole story starts with me trying to get information for a 5 year old bike and rear shock replacement. Google searches and a couple bike forums all seemed to point towards the shock being a proprietary length with Cannondale. The eye to eye is a rather standard 7.5″ but the stroke length is 1.75″ as opposed to the standard 2″ that you can buy this shock for literally hundreds of local and online sources.
I had read you could use a 2.0 stroke length shock, but then I had read you can’t. So I finally went straight to the source and emailed Cannondale. Not only did they reply with the 1.75″ measurement, but they had them in stock and gave me the part # I could give to any local Cannondale dealer.
So being a guy who wants to give money to the local shop, I called the local Concord, NH Cannondale dealer. Gave them the part # and asked for a price quote. About 3 hours later they call me back saying that a replacement shock is $300 and I also have to pay $30 shipping AND they are ordering it straight from Fox. So, now I’m confused. I asked the kid on the phone what he was ordering me and he says “…A 7.5″ x 2.0″ RP23 shock”. I ask him isn’t that too long, Cannondale mentions it is 1.75″. He tells me “..don’t worry, I have a 2008 Carbon Rush with a 7.5″ x 2.0, that came stock on the bike”. Now I am wondering why the heck did he not call Cannondale and just order the part # I gave him? Plus why are you charging me shipping? It would have been easier to swallow had they just told me it cost $330. I’m also annoyed that they appeared to not even call Cannondale and get a quote for the part # I asked for.
After basically feeding him a load of crap about how I wanted to do a little more research, I called Rhino, gave them the part # and got a call back the next day quoting $289, should be there for Tuesday, direct from Cannondale, July 5th. Thank you Rhino! Thanks for listening to your customer and not ignoring their concerns. While I don’t disagree with the fact that the 2.0″ stroke would probably have worked, it turns out it probably would have voided the warranty on the frame should anything funky happen and that is not something I am willing to compromise on.
This other kid from the local Concord shop is either an imbecile or has no clue what he is talking about. I was annoyed that I did all the leg work to get the part #, asked the local dealer to order direct from Cannondale and some how, they still couldn’t do that…Rhino is a stand up shop who listens to their customers.
Anyways…….Going up to Plymouth allowed me to take Mia on a route that used to be a staple of easy recovery rides. I spent 4 years going to Plymouth State
College University and rode thousands of miles in the area. It has probably been 16 years since I last rode this loop and it was a bit nostalgic taking my wife on this loop. I had no idea she even existed the first time I rode this loop, I had no idea where I would be 19 years later in my life. It sounds silly, but it was nice to merge a part of my past with my present life.
Turns out the name Fairgrounds Road is now kind of a misnomer. The old Plymouth Fairgrounds was a rusty chainlink fence and weed/tree filled lot now. Back in 1992 it still held the annual Plymouth Fair. Even though I went to
PSC PSU (I still can’t call it that) for 4 years, I never once went to the fair, though I did bike by it a couple hundred times.
I couldn’t remember if this was a 20ish mile loop or closer to 30 miles. Like I said, it has been 16 years since I last rode it. Turns out it was just about 22 miles. It is almost totally flat since it really follows the Baker river along the valley before that river joins with the Pemigewasset near Plymouth.
It was odd to see how little had changed in 16 years on this loop. The fairgrounds a gone, there is a new campground that I don’t remember being there. The “little known climbing spot” in Rumney appears to be a mecca now judging by the number or cars parked in the lot.
It was fun to ride this again. I have to go up there and do some of the harder loops like Gonza Pass or Halls Brook Road. There are even a few roads that I never got time to explore between 1992-1996 that I still want to go on.
GPS info here
Thanks for reading.