Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Trek 830 Antelope

It seems almost blasphemous that in a year and a half of blogging I haven't paid tribute to my Trek. I recently took it out for a pre-spring ride and marveled at it's lightness and maneuverability, its easy shifting and low 34 tooth freewheel. It's the best of my bikes in so many ways.

It was fall of 1986. We'd lived in Portland, Oregon for a year. Times were flush. Lots of job opportunities. Extra cash. Eating out with friends. Hikes and micro brews. Living the good life. Commuted to work on the Miyata—the only bicycle I owned. My guy and I were ready for the mountain bike craze. The upright ride.

These were the days of only a couple respectable bike shops in Portland. I know, hard to believe. Sales on bikes happened only once a year. A Halloween Sale. The catch: dress in costume and receive 10% off a bike. Hmmm. Picture my lanky husband dressed in a red union suit, homemade cardboard pitchfork, and hat with horns. A devilish partner. I still chuckle when I recall his costume. I've long since forgotten what I wore, but it was enough to score the discount.

We came home with a Specialized Rockhopper and the Trek 830 Antelope. Both were sweet bikes. Stable with upright attitude. Made city rides pleasurable, plowing through leaves, hopping curbs, riding the 11 mile Leif Erickson dirt road in Forest Park, Portland's fabulous west side wonderland.

Then, across Oregon on an organized week long ride. Up canyons, down passes. We rode the Seattle to Portland event—back to back centuries. And the culmination: riding around the world (see Monday posts) with racks and panniers. The Trek was my mainstay until 2008. That's 22 years! This bike can do it all. I'd venture to say I have 30,000 miles on the frame. Most parts have been replaced during it's lifetime. And I hope it'll keep on traveling with me.

I'm currently navigating Vermont's mud season, appreciating the bike's versatility once again. Go Trek!


  1. Sounds like your Trek has become a really good friend over the years........


  2. Great story (as are the Monday posts!). I sold my Trek to a spunky college freshman this year. Bittersweet, but she loved the bike as much as I did and that made it a little less hard to let it go. Yours still looks great.

  3. Nothing nicer than a long-term relationship with a well loved, dear two-wheeled pal. :-)

  4. 80's Trek... very nice. I've built up a new touring bike from a 88/89 Trek 520 and I couldn't be happier... unless, like you, I had owned it from the start!

  5. Great story! I just bought an old, un-loved 86 Trek Antelope 850 (at least I think it's a 1986, near as I can tell from researching them online) in a dark green color that someone had blasphemed with low handlebars and allowed to rust. I found it on Craigslist and fixed it tires & tubes, new handlebars, new cables, etc. This has become a much-enjoyed restoration project. I must say, it isn't half as pretty as the shiny red one in your picture!

    1. My bike is more more nicked than this photo shows, but it has retained the nice cheery red color. I'm glad you're restoring an 850. It must be beautiful. Please attach a photo and send to my e-mail address. It's near my profile, upper left.

  6. Saw your post on BikePgh, checked the blog, pleased to see you have an 830. This is mine:

    Cheers, Vannevar

  7. Just stumbled across this article and it made me smile, I grew up in Portland and had just got out of college and was earning was earning my first real paycheck in 1986. I'm sure I visited some of those same brew pubs -like the place in Produce row downtown that was the first venture for the McMenamins brothers, alas I had not rediscovered cycling at that point although I did buy a Montgomery Wards Mountain bike in about 1989, I don't recall why, that I rode maybe once before selling to a friend -not quite as sweet as your Trek Antelope.

  8. i will be travelling 1 1/2 hours on Saturday to collect a trek antelope 830 (1992). I have been trying to get this bike for 3 weeks now. the owner travels the world you see and had only pulled the Trek out to get at something in the back of the garage. His wife suggested he sell it and it took 3 weeks of serious discussion before he realized my immense passion for old Treks. I loved you story and I can't wait for Saturday.....


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