Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Separation Anxiety

I get very attached to my bikes. We all do. Whether they are a prize-winning race pony, a ‘project’ bike that you tinker on, or your weekday commuting companion, every bike has a special meaning for its owner.

 

I rode 2 awesome race machines courtesy of Fitzroy Revolution and when I moved to VIS I had to hand my babies back. Every time I go into the shop I have to go to say hello to them. They wag their little tails when I come up to pat their handlebars and when I leave they give me a look that breaks my heart. ‘We’ve shared so many good times,’ they say, ‘Is that worth NOTHING to you now? What are you riding now? Does it climb as fast as we did? I bet it doesn’t love you like we do.’

 

I wish I could keep those bikes forever. They have so many special memories for me.

 

Even my trusty Clydesdale commuter has a very special place in my heart. When I was a student it was the bike I’d ride on nights out, with a cheap bottle of red jammed into the bidon cage. We went to London together and used to fly across the city to work each day, tucked behind Ed the rower and his road bike. Back in Melbourne, it comes to work with me and loves sitting at cafes (although it always forgets its wallet when it’s time to pay the bill). Over the years, so many parts have worn down and been replaced that only the seat post and handlebars remain from the original… but it’s still the same bike to me.

 

A while ago, I put my hardtail mountain bike up for sale. It’s a great bike but I’ve decided I want to move on and get something with enough suspension that it will make even me ride smoothly. Or so I thought. I got a call today from someone wanting to buy it. He asked me a million questions and then told me that he was going to use it to commute to work. I told him that riding an XTR groupset with race wheels and tubeless knobblies might be overkill for a commuter bike. In response, he assured me he rode, for some of his route, on gravel paths. My heart sank. I couldn’t let that happen to my beautiful bike! But who am I to judge?

 

I don’t know whether I can let my bike go to a life of commuting. But maybe, if it’s like my commuter bike, it will get a special place in this guy’s heart too. I just hope he knows how to use tyre sealant…

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