Seth contacted us a little bit back asking if we’d like to post a review of a Moots FrosTi. Little did I know at that time what a tragic and very heartfelt story Seth would produce. Thanks for the story and keep it rolling!
Seth begins: I typed this up this evening following your response – I would really love if you all could feature this story on behalf of myself and my Mom as a huge shout-out and thank you to everyone at Moots – I really would like to share this story with the fat-bike community to let folks know how amazing the people at Moots are. Story as follows:
A little over a week ago, the UPS man brought a very special box into the shop, and I became the gracious owner of a beautiful Moots FrosTi that I wish I never had.
Let me back up… Thursday November 20th, 2014 was a cold day in North Iowa, but in the morning the wind wasn’t so strong and the gravel roads were packed and smooth; a perfect day for a ride. My Mom, Sally Bell, left Clear Lake, IA on her beloved Moots FrosTi for the last time in their lives together that morning. A little over an hour into the ride along a familiar and favorite route, my Mom, my best friend, and her Moots happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
None of us will ever know what, why or how it happened – except that it wasn’t the driver’s fault. Maybe her glasses were fogged over… maybe the early morning sun reflecting off the snow was blinding; the truck was white, after all. The driver called 911 right away. He stayed with her – covered her up to keep her warm; talked to her until the first responders showed up. The helicopter and crew were lightning fast – the trauma crew at the hospital caring and committed, even when they already knew… there was nothing more that could be done.
It was December 10th, 2014 when the Highway Patrol released what was left of Mom’s FrosTi. As we drove to pick it up I had images in mind; I thought I was prepared for what I would find. I was wrong.
All of what was happening was so far out of my control, except this. I slowly and deliberately removed the mangled, broken pieces from her bike and put them into the recycling bin. I kept what wasn’t completely ruined. Then, I picked up the phone and called Moots. I sent Mom’s FrosTi back home to Steamboat Springs, CO the next day, hoping it could be made whole again.
On Wednesday, February 25th an un-marked box came in with the other goods from UPS. Not knowing what it was, I popped the top open and blanked out. Was it really there? I plucked it from the careful and plentiful packaging material. I held it in my hands… I cried. FrosTi was back – like it never happened. The following day, a very cold Thursday similar to the day of the accident, I had the unbelievable honor to take FrosTi for the first ride of it’s second life.
Keeping with the original aesthetic and build, I savored the bittersweet reassembly of Mom’s FrosTi. The broken White Brothers Snowpack fork was replaced with the same, with a Chris King Inset to hold it together – the Thomson stem is original and survived the accident. The Phil Wood / Marge Lite front wheel survived the accident with only a dent in the rim, and was re-used in the build. Due to a free-hub issue, the original Phil / Marge matching rear wheel was not on the bike at the time of the accident, but was re-procured and back on the bike for the re-build. From day one, Mom’s FrosTi was built with drop bars and bar-end shifters, and so it was built up the same way this time. The TRP brake levers survived the accident and were put onto Salsa Cowbell handlebars with Lizard Skins DSP tape; exactly how she had it. Aside from the pedals, none of the drivetrain parts were salvageable, but with a lot of help from my friends at Sram, FrosTi now has new XO derailleurs, 1070 cassette and chain, X5 crank and 2×10 bar-end shifters. I used TRP Spyre brakes in place of the wrecked BB7’s, replaced the bent quick releases with new purple Salsa QR’s and replaced the road rashed tires with new 45NRTH Husker Du’s. The Revelate Pika seatbag and Gas Tank bag were both ripped up and un-useable, but thanks to a local wizard of seams and zippers, both bags appear now to have never been damaged. Her Garmin survived the crash with nary a scratch and still functions. A custom stem cap really helps bring it together.
In the past few years, Mom and I had really enjoyed some big challenges together. After a few years of riding the Almanzo 100, we were the first two people to ride and finish the Royal 162 on fat bikes. Last May, we did two of our three planned days of Almanzo’s Alexander 360 mile ride. The second day was tough… the climbs steeper and unrelenting, the wind strong. We finally got to Decorah and decided to cash in; time to go home… it has since been “unfinished business” for her, and for me too. This year, the business will be finished. I plan to take her Moots and her Revelate bags this year back to the hilly, gravel roads of Southeastern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Eastern Iowa to ride and complete the Alexander for her.
This experience will continue to evolve, I’m sure. FrosTi and I will continue to get to know each other, and continue forward in this life because we must do justice to the amazing people that have cared so much for us. On behalf of myself, my Mom and FrosTi, I can’t thank everyone enough for the roles they’ve played in healing this wound. To everyone at Moots – I will never, ever have words enough to thank you for what you’ve done for me. The same goes for my friends at SRAM, Quality Bicycle Products, and to my employer, friends and family.
Onward, and tailwinds to us all.