Red Five, you were a good bike. I never really called you by name since that happy day years ago when I finished building you the first time. Named after Luke Skywalker's radio handle during the attack on the Death Star, you weren't even red then but silver with red tires.
In your first incarnation, you were a great fixie, and I thank you endlessly for carrying me injury-free through the streets of Chicago with no brakes. Your cold steel was smarter than me.
After your first tussle with a car, I had to replace your frame. It was exactly the same size, make and model, but this time a very sexy red. You looked good. You went to freewheel and got a front brake then too, I remember. You didn't even complain about the downgrade in hipness.
You were there for two collisions with cars, two broken hands, one girlfriend came and went (but you stayed), three broken ribs, internal bleeding and a few days in the hospital, three stolen wheels, thousands of miles taking me to and happily FROM my day job, the very first FBC ride, and thousands of blissfull deraileur-free crusing miles.
But, due to massive frame failure on Thursday, January 15, I have to put you to rest. You were a good bike. A cool-looking, tough and reliable bike. You will be missed.
I'll be humming taps as you pass to that great velodrome in the sky.