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The Scars of TIME – 16 Years and Counting

The Scars of TIME – 16 Years and Counting


In 2003 I moved to Ventura, California from Upstate New York. With hardly a clue, but the support of a good friend who lined up a job for me, I left a decent job for the allure of the year round riding season. I’d never even been to the West Coast, much less the town I was moving to, but I was steadfast in my decision…there was no turning back. I threw some personal belongings, a bunch of clothes and my downhill bike into my beat up car, and drove off…

Bolted up to that DH bike (a Turner DHR) was a pair of Time ATAC Z pedals. For reasons that escape me, I also brought a helmet bag that was overflowing various broken, bent and busted flat pedals. Atomlabs, Eastons (both the Cully signature editions and regular Flatboys), Shimanos and more had all fallen to the wayside. It was almost a sick, twisted hobby of mine to scrounge rebuild kits, new pins, or maybe an axle here and there in attempts to try breathe new life into my flat pedals, so it was super important that I made room in the car for this bag of crap as opposed to something to sleep on. You know – like an air mattress or something? Ahhhh, priorities…

Anyhow, before I moved West I raced downhill for two full seasons all up and down the east coast and at most of the NORBA nationals except Big Bear…For some courses I switched to flats, but mainly I used these precious ATAC Z’s. Durango, Mount Snow, Snowshoe, Plattekill, Mountain Creek, Sunday River, Attitash, Killington…The list goes on, but you get the point; these pedals saw some serious abuse before they even moved to California with me and started their new life. Once I got out West, both myself and the pedals were in for a rude awakening. The rocks in California don’t move when you hit them; they’re almost always dry and generally merciless. I fared better and found more traction in the pissing rain and mud back East than I managed to in the powdery, blown out dusty trails of So Cal. Anyhow, it took me some time to adapt, but much like the pedals, I continued to accrue scars on the outside without giving much it thought or letting it phase me inside…

About half the time that I meet someone new on the trail or in the industry, they’re completely taken aback that I run Time pedals on my bike. Most riders almost have a sneering, mocking tone when they ask about the pedals. I usually reply that it’s “kind of an East Coast thing” since they fare so well in the mud. Unsurprisingly – most of the time that I meet someone with the same pedals on the West Coast, they turn out to be East Coast transplants anyway…

Aside from some pictures and keepsakes from back home, and I suppose my Birth Certificate, these pedals are the only thing that’s made it from 2003 onward. Now, before this starts to seem like some completely sentimental babble fest, here’s the impressive part…

I never stopped riding the pedals.

Since 2001 – for sixteen years, these have been on my bikes on and off: downhill bikes, trail bikes, slalom bikes, etc. I’ve never even had to rebuild them, but miraculously, the bearings are are still flawless, and the axles are dead straight. The one-piece bodies used to be black; as you can see, they’re far from it. I’ve gone through 3-4 sets of the brass cleats; they wear well but do so in a sacrificial way – they take the abuse and preserve the springs. Some riders complain that Times aren’t adjustable, but that’s not exactly true. You can have two different levels of float and difficulty/ease of release simply by flipping the cleats around – beautifully simple. Without adjustments and their inherent additional hardware, it’s no surprise that these have remained intact for 16 glorious years. Aside from a Thomson seat post, I can’t think of a single bicycle part that existed 16 years ago that I would consider using on one of my bikes today. Having outlived dozens of bikes, 6 girlfriends, 4 vehicles, a few body parts and my short term memory – nothing compares to my Time ATAC Z pedals. I feel confident that they’ll make it past the 20 year mark without breaking a sweat.


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