I ordered the frame in 1980 from The Spoke bicycle shop in Boulder, Colorado as a college student at the University of Colorado. It was my first custom built bike and I worked my way up to a catagory 1 racer competing against the likes of Hampsten, Phinney, Grewal, Heiden, the McCormick brothers etc. on that bike -- usually getting my ass kicked. During the summer of 1984 while waiting to enter Navy flight school, I rode as an extra in the movie "American Flyers" for the Cinelli team. My issued Cinelli frame broke three weeks into the filming, so my trusty Mercian took over for the last four weeks of the filming and can be seen in a couple of spots in the movie. Fast forward to 1990 where I'm a Navy pilot stationed in northern Japan at Misawa Air Base. The riding was beautiful in that rural part of the country and my Mercian got me all around. In 1991 the bike was stolen outside of a ramen house while I was inside warming up with a bowl of noodles. A police report was filed with the local Japanese police as well as with the Air Base security. In 1992 I left Japan without the Strada and very bummed/heartbroken about it. Fast forward again to 2009 and stationed with a squadron in San Diego, CA, when on a glorious day appeared a box on my front porch. It was my Mercian -- stripped of its Campy and Cinelli components and no fork. Somehow it was recovered in Japan and I was located at my current address through the military. I have spent the past couple of years searching for original replacement components, and now that they're all in place it's time to put the last piece of the puzzle in place with the frame restoration. I'm sure my next ride on the bike will give me just as much and more joy than that first ride in 1981.
I think you'll agree thats a great story and would like to thank Thomas for letting us put it on the blog.
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