Pre Rule #26 photo

Leave No Bike Behind

by / / 53 posts

Words of advice for the lads: If your girlfriend is a very good cyclist and you two are going to get engaged, a nice racing bike is not a substitute for a ring. I tried it. In my cyclo-centric male brain, she needed a proper racing bike a lot more than she needed a ring. I made my case and lost. She did get the ring and the bike and me so I’m not sure it was total victory for her.

I mail-ordered the frame from Palo Alto Bike Shop. They were selling fine unbranded Italian steel frames. I built the wheels but denied her a gruppo. The unwritten subtext of Rule #12 is s’s (spouse’s) bike must be marginally nicer than your own. But I was unaware of that Rule back then so her bike was a functional Suntour groupsan. For the record, her next two #1 bikes are both nicer than mine. The Palo Alto bike was eventually repainted De Rosa pink, upgraded to Shimano, and ridden into the ground. Fast forward too many years and that bike is still hers. It is bike #3 and resides five thousand kilometers away, used each year when back visiting family. Now even the bike is losing its old home.

What am I going to do with my bike?

Ship it out here, obviously.

No, that’s too expensive. I’m going to sell it here.

WHAT? But it’s your pink bike, you can’t just sell it. It’s your pink bike…(muted sobbing deleted)

This is another debate I’m going to lose. She has all reasonable arguments on her side. Me, I leave no bike behind. I have two bikes back there and when my mother’s house sells, I’m shipping them both out here. Will they be ridden much? Hell no but that is not the point. These bikes have been my brothers-in-arms and I’m not leaving them behind. We have been together in the trenches for much too much time for me to abandon them. Is this a male thing? Do women have such emotional attachments for inanimate objects? Or is it a Velominati thing? Either way, my Bontrager hardtail mountain bike and my Bella steel road bike are going to join the rest of the stable out here. They may not see much action but I can still tune them up, keep them ready if and when the orders ever come down.

How does this all end? Obviously it ends up with me, as a failing eighty year old at my sunset years yard sale telling some puke he is not worthy to own any of my old bikes and he can fuck right off. Then, later, my widow will bring them all down to the police station to be sold at auction, for ten dollars each.

// The Bikes

  1. I’m with you Gianni. I get so damned sentimental with my bikes; I truly don’t understand how people can flip bikes (or even frames) every year or two or three. Hell I’ll never get rid of the frame I was on when I got pegged by a car, and it’s not even rideable. I had to warranty my mountain bike frame a few months ago due to a crack in the top tube and I was BUMMED to have to send it back. Even though I was getting the same frame, 2 model years newer, it was hard to let go. I feel like the frame itself, all its little scratches and dings, was a tangible incarnation of the thousands of miles and memories I experienced on it.




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  2. Cheers, cheers and double cheers… I love this post

    >>> Will they be ridden much? Hell no… <<<

    >>> … some puke he’s not worthy to own any of my old bikes… <<<

    Classic. And I do really dig that bike!




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  3. What’s the saying? My biggest fear is that when I die my wife will sell my bikes for what I told her I paid for them?




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  4. Like reading the screenplay here of Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” …with bikes.

    My better half says I might be a hoarder of certain things….like bikes and bike parts and kits, I am just “collecting” for now, waiting for the right young rider to come along to gift them too, so I 1. know they are going to a good home and 2. will be used as I have used them and 3. will one day maybe again along with other stuff be payed forward to another- so the cycle (yea I just did a pun) will continue.




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  5. @Erik

    Perhaps it will end up in the hands of a worthy young person distantly related to Ms. Vos. Just saying, if you here a young woman saying she got her first rig at an estate sale, maybe you will have unwittingly changed the world for the better.

    Yeah, giving a bike away to a pedalwan would be the best outcome. My fear is giving it away to an abusive owner who would leave the bike in a dark shed, unwashed and unridden.




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  6. @Ccos

    I have not gotten rid of any of my bikes since 1987 (those department store BMX bikes did get the heave-ho when I made the jump to road biking, and my first rat-trap pedaled, 30 pound Kuwahara got the boot as well when I laid my hands on a proper bike). Definitely a dude trait I’m guessing (or hoarder, not sure).

    I’ve been at a few races over the past years where someone breaks their frame in a crash. I’m not sure how the grieving process is going to go if that happens to me.

    Fantastic bike, btw.

    I gave away my Peugeot PX10 LE to some youth who wanted to try racing, lord knows where it is now. And my original KHS no suspension MTB bike was donated to the non-motor pool for visiting scientists. It was so heavy it should only be used for commuting, downhill preferably.

    We are not hoarders! We might just be over-protective.




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  7. @kixsand

    “How does this all end? Obviously it ends up with me, as a failing eighty year old at my sunset years yard sale telling some puke he is not worthy to own any of my old bikes and he can fuck right off. Then, later, my widow will bring them all down to the police station to be sold at auction, for ten dollars each.”

    Best part of a good article. Made my day.

    I actually have already gifted my two best bikes in my will to a friend. Of course he will be too f’ing old to ride them if we all die of old age. Better I should get mowed down by truck and somehow the bike is unscathed. This is depressing.




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  8. @wilburrox

    I know, that bike is good looking, a Giro leaders bike from the early 1990s. Except for the rubbish pedals.




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  9. @Gianni

    @kixsand

    “How does this all end? Obviously it ends up with me, as a failing eighty year old at my sunset years yard sale telling some puke he is not worthy to own any of my old bikes and he can fuck right off. Then, later, my widow will bring them all down to the police station to be sold at auction, for ten dollars each.”

    Best part of a good article. Made my day.

    I actually have already gifted my two best bikes in my will to a friend. Of course he will be too f’ing old to ride them if we all die of old age. Better I should get mowed down by truck and somehow the bike is unscathed. This is depressing.

    Holly crap this is funny, sad and true all at the same time.

    Maybe a Viking Funeral Boat…filled with bikes, parts, kit and other shit from my garage all piled up on my dead ass and my wife throwing the first torch finally freeing up some floor space in the garage.




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  10. @Dean C

    @Gianni

    @kixsand

    “How does this all end? Obviously it ends up with me, as a failing eighty year old at my sunset years yard sale telling some puke he is not worthy to own any of my old bikes and he can fuck right off. Then, later, my widow will bring them all down to the police station to be sold at auction, for ten dollars each.”

    Best part of a good article. Made my day.

    I actually have already gifted my two best bikes in my will to a friend. Of course he will be too f’ing old to ride them if we all die of old age. Better I should get mowed down by truck and somehow the bike is unscathed. This is depressing.

    Holly crap this is funny, sad and true all at the same time.

    Maybe a Viking Funeral Boat…filled with bikes, parts, kit and other shit from my garage all piled up on my dead ass and my wife throwing the first torch finally freeing up some floor space in the garage.

    >>> finally freeing up some floor space in the garage <<<

    I keep reminding myself that it’s not a bike problem so much as it’s a storage problem!




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  11. You’re preaching to the choir, brother! I don’t even have time to ride one bike enough, so wtf am I doing with a dozen of the damn things? Despite this they’d have to pry them from my cold, dead hands…




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  12. This is just me… and I’m only guessing here. BUT, I’m thinking that 30 years from now someone can post a picture of 2015 Speshy Tarmac, or Super Six Evo or F8 Pinarello or whatev… and you know what? It’ll be the straight tubed steel frame bike that’s modern from 2045 or classic from 1985 that’ll still get everyone’s attn. Just something about the lines. Yea yea yea the C bike is better in many respects except for one of the most important: what grabs ya. And this pink bike here? I mean, wtf? Why does this one reach out and grab ya? It just does. Just can’t explain it but know it when ya see it right? Classic proportions, classic lines, just fits the eye so to speak ??




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  13. @Gianni ” Do women have such emotional attachments for inanimate objects? ”

    My wife has an emotional attachment to me, so I guess they do !




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  14. @wilburrox

    @Dean C

    @Gianni

    @kixsand

    “How does this all end? Obviously it ends up with me, as a failing eighty year old at my sunset years yard sale telling some puke he is not worthy to own any of my old bikes and he can fuck right off. Then, later, my widow will bring them all down to the police station to be sold at auction, for ten dollars each.”

    Best part of a good article. Made my day.

    I actually have already gifted my two best bikes in my will to a friend. Of course he will be too f’ing old to ride them if we all die of old age. Better I should get mowed down by truck and somehow the bike is unscathed. This is depressing.

    Holly crap this is funny, sad and true all at the same time.

    Maybe a Viking Funeral Boat…filled with bikes, parts, kit and other shit from my garage all piled up on my dead ass and my wife throwing the first torch finally freeing up some floor space in the garage.

    >>> finally freeing up some floor space in the garage <<<

    I keep reminding myself that it’s not a bike problem so much as it’s a storage problem!

    You need a bigger shed, not less bikes !




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  15. @Gianni

    Great article… beautiful bike!

    I am thinking of renovating my garage, to free up more storage space although I am closely testing rule nr 12 at the moment.




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  16. The only bikes I’ve ever got rid of have been stolen. And I am now in a position where I am violating N+1 by not coveting any new bikes. All I want to do is upgrade my Nr#1.

    Mind you, if I get more into testing I will need a TT bike. And I’ve always fancied giving cyclocross a go…




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  17. A beautiful bike, no doubt.

    I, personally, love the matching frame mounted pump (contradicts Rule #30 I think).

    However, it also reinforces my belief that Rule #74 should have been unequivocal when it came to classic steel bikes. No computers.

    David




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  18. @Gianni did your budget not run to Rule #34 compliant footwear?




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  19. @RobSandy

    Whole post is so true. When my dad past away, I reluctantly did not take his 2 (city) bikes with me, since I already had too many. I have 3 Koga’s in Switzerland (+1 for the VMH) and the 4th (Raleigh citybike) waits for me in the Netherlands for the upcoming summer holidays where it will see some action, but of course I will ensure my #1 joins me on the trip over. The Raleigh’s frame’s too high for me but I still ride it. When I was living as a student in Amsterdam, many of my bikes were stolen, except the 1982 steel Koga that is now the Nine-bike. The only bikes I threw or gave away were those that became too small for the kids.

    And I probably should not have bought the MTB but a CX instead.

    @Gianni

    Any pics of the pink bike after Rule #26 application (framepump, valve stem caps




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  20. @wilburrox

    In 30 years time, carbon frames are all broken anyway, so only steel will survive then




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  21. @KogaLover

    @wilburrox

    In 30 years time, carbon frames are all broken anyway, so only steel will survive then

    I do wonder what the longevity of the resin in the carbon will be before they start to delaminate. At that point their green credentials and recycleability is somewhat suspect.




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  22. This brightened up my morning.

    I live in a sad state of affairs where my wife is not only not a Cyclist (with a big C), but she is adamant that “you won’t get me on anything with two wheel”, thus ruling out her desire to be a cyclist (with a little C). I think this stems from losing confidence in her ability to stay upright when she borrowed a friend’s roadie that was easily three sizes too big for her and fell into a hedgerow within 10 metres of the front gate.

    I hold out hope though. If her confidence is lacking in the handling of the bicycle, then the solution is simple: we get a tandem and I pilot it! It’ll be an uphill struggle convincing her this A Good Idea, but I am determined to approach this proverbial hill like Il-frikkin’-Pirata!

    VLVV




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  23. @Julez

    This brightened up my morning.

    I live in a sad state of affairs where my wife is not only not a Cyclist (with a big C), but she is adamant that “you won’t get me on anything with two wheel”, thus ruling out her desire to be a cyclist (with a little C). I think this stems from losing confidence in her ability to stay upright when she borrowed a friend’s roadie that was easily three sizes too big for her and fell into a hedgerow within 10 metres of the front gate.

    I hold out hope though. If her confidence is lacking in the handling of the bicycle, then the solution is simple: we get a tandem and I pilot it! It’ll be an uphill struggle convincing her this A Good Idea, but I am determined to approach this proverbial hill like Il-frikkin’-Pirata!

    VLVV

    If you go ahead with this ill advised tandem fantasy we’ll be writing missives speculating on the size of your “C”.

    Keepin’ it real.




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  24. @kixsand

    “How does this all end? Obviously it ends up with me, as a failing eighty year old at my sunset years yard sale telling some puke he is not worthy to own any of my old bikes and he can fuck right off. Then, later, my widow will bring them all down to the police station to be sold at auction, for ten dollars each.”

    Best part of a good article. Made my day.

    Love this




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  25. Alas my first trek with gruppo and my bridgestone mb3 never made it past college with me. Trek given to neighbor in Boulder who was a proper cyclist and I hadn’t a clue at the time. MB3 stolen off my back porch in Austin.

    I also sold my Fuji hybrid this year to fund N+1 endeavors. Sad to see it go but it was never a ‘lifer’.

    Now I have 2 Condors and can see a flock of at least 5 that will stay with me for a long time.

    Also my Dad’s Graftek from like 1985 and his US Postal Trek will make there way to my stable. I am not in a hurry for that – though it will be a special way to remember him when he’s gone.




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  26. Judging by the comments here it’s the wives that need replacing, not the bikes!

    My fiancée rides a fancier bike than me, a pretty little colour-coordinated, carbon, all Dura Ace Argon 18 with a white saddle and tape. She won’t let go of her old starter bike with Sora and crosstop brake levers, though, and though her satisfaction from the #1 keeps the n+1 desires at bay, she merely awaits for the right bike to shuffle the rest of the stable down.

    The key is finding a new use for every bike. My Alu frame serves as my only road bike, but when a new #1 comes it’ll be the Nine Bike, and when that happens again it’ll become a commuter. No shortage of uses for a bike with fender and rack mounts, clearance for 30+mm tyres and DA7800 that just won’t die.




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  27. got my wife a second bike recently (with the prophet’s name on it no less) she says she doesn’t need it!!

    a week later – “why wont you sell that bike to her new cycling buddy?”

    I wrestled with this dilemma for a week and knew that the “right” answer would be to sell it.

    But there is No Way its leaving Our Stable. My daughter’s first proper road bike can be a Merckx!!




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  28. @Teocalli

    Thanks for posting that! A little Shirley Bassey and Morcambe & Wise to start the day – perfect!

    Alas, I did leave bikes behind. When I moved to the States many moons ago, I had a mid 80s Stumpjumper, a Colnago Super road bike, a Brian Rourke winter bike, and a hot pink TT machine. Life moved on Stateside and I picked up a couple of Treks, one of which is now gone. The Scottish bikes all went to new homes – although the Rouke mysteriously disappeared somehow when my parents moved house.

    Currently the stable numbers 6 – three road machines, a winter bike, a graveur and the old Trek mountain bike from 93. Willing to add more.




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  29. I’ve posted this before but at risk of a complete beating by mini-pump I so regret selling this before I saw the light. Though at the time I could not budget for my current #1 without making the sacrifice. This has to be the best paint job they’ve ever done.




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  30. Is this a male thing? Do women have such emotional attachments for inanimate objects?

    I think it is a male thing, or at least more noticeably a male thing. Males tend to own more larger inanimate objects. Woman seem to become emotionally attached to things I term, to my wife’s annoyance, trinkets.

    I only currently have four bikes – a steel commuter/hack bike (which I nevertheless take very good care of), a mountain bike that rarely sees use nowadays, a single speed road bike for pure fun, and a racy road bike. The oldest is only 10 years old. Older bikes were either given away or scrapped for parts after a frame failure. I turn 40 next month but we had our first child only two and a bit years ago. Recently my wife has asked me to clear out some of my “junk” so that the boy can use a space as a dedicated play room. What does she mean by junk? Some of my guitars and other instruments! I haven’t played a paid gig for more than a decade. Yet I haven’t rid myself of any instruments for more than two. I have 8 electric guitars, 2 acoustic electric, 2 acoustic, a banjo, a mandolin, several amplifiers and dozens of effects pedals. Being in racks, they do take up quite a lot of space even when not in use. I don’t have a number one guitar. I suppose about 5 of them are equivalent to a number one, and the others only come out on special occasions. Much more rarely now that I’m a Dad. Yet I feel a very strong emotional attachment to all of them. Choosing which to get rid of has been a difficult decision, and when the time comes it will be heartbreaking. There is a silver lining however. The final negotiation went something like: Wife: “just get rid of enough of them and some amps to make the required space”. Me: “Okay, but with the proceeds I am going to buy a bike”. Wife: “WHAT”?!? Yeah, a more relaxed geometry road bike that have become popular in recent years. I’m getting old. And, I want to see what the big deal is. I’ll use it for…” Wife: “(silence… rolls eyes in defeat)”.

    I’m not sure I’ll ever feel up on the deal. I’ve spent a lot of hours with those beauties and when I play them they feel like an extension of me. But instead of being a gloomy thing all round, a new bike will surely make me smile for a while.




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  31. Awesome timing, Gianni! Tomorrow in my 3rd wedding anniversary…oh, and someone’s 70th! Not a bad day to pick for a wedding, eh lads?

    As for the bikes. I picked up an old touring Takara for the VMH when we met a few years ago. It did her well and she loved it, but it was always a bit too big. It’s now lent to visiting friends and occasionally used. I’ve since set her up with a nice SS with riser bars. Last year I gave her my rain bike, a lovely De Bernardi that I wasn’t riding enough. Very nice that we’re the same size. And, this is the first time she’s ridden a bike with 10-s integrated shifters. We were coming home from a City Hall meeting last night (we helped get a very bad stretch of road redesigned with 2 fewer car lanes and 2 more bike lanes!!!) and she said, “I love my new bike!”

    I have a slew of bikes with me, still three at the Olds, and one with a pal in his “bike shed” (it houses 15 on the nicest bikes you’ve ever seen, a Corvette, two Porsches, and three Ducatis). I like to spread ’em around. Should have my own bike shed built within a year and can house them all on-site. I dream.




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  32. @Teocalli

    I’m sorry, I’m a bit confused?? Did you say that you SOLD that Bike in the photo? The one with the matching bar tape, pedals, and bidons?

    I truly don’t wish to rub salt in the wound but “What the fuck man!?!”




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  33. @DeKerr

    @Teocalli

    I’m sorry, I’m a bit confused?? Did you say that you SOLD that Bike in the photo? The one with the matching bar tape, pedals, and bidons?

    I truly don’t wish to rub salt in the wound but “What the fuck man!?!”

    Quite. I flog myself on a regular basis.




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  34. @Gianni

    @kixsand

    “How does this all end? Obviously it ends up with me, as a failing eighty year old at my sunset years yard sale telling some puke he is not worthy to own any of my old bikes and he can fuck right off. Then, later, my widow will bring them all down to the police station to be sold at auction, for ten dollars each.”

    Best part of a good article. Made my day.

    I actually have already gifted my two best bikes in my will to a friend. Of course he will be too f’ing old to ride them if we all die of old age. Better I should get mowed down by truck and somehow the bike is unscathed. This is depressing.

    My riding pal is twenty years older. I constantly tell him I’d steal his bikes, if only they fit me. I ride 53s, he rides 56s. I do think he’s going to send a few my way in his will, as he has no children. His bikes are the only thing in cycling that makes me wish I was taller.

    His stock: C59, C60, 3 Vanillas, Litespeed, Pinarello, Moots, Roubaix with Di2, BMC Cross, Calfee, Fuji Altamira, I’m sure I’m missing a few.

    I’m pretty thrilled being alive, but considering I’m constantly playing the math of “If that asshole runs that Stop Sign, and that other Asshole runs that light…” I’m not really scared of death. It’ll either come in a smash up and I’ll be gone quickly, or I’ll be riding until I’m 95.

    Which reminds me, I need to get better at surfing while I’m still young.




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  35. @Ron

    Though shalt not covet thy neighbor’s bike




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  36. @Teocalli

    @Gianni did your budget not run to Rule #34 compliant footwear?

    That’s the wife’s bike and the wife’s footwear. But I think I purchased those shoes for her. Pearl Izumi’s, silver, they matched the cranks. That has to count for something.




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  37. @Gianni

    But surely she would prefer to enter like Shirley Bassey vs her exit?




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  38. Nice looking bike for female. I think it could be the best one, those who want to give a gift bike for Girlfriend! Anyway, nice article admin..




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  39. @Gianni

    @Teocalli

    @Gianni did your budget not run to Rule #34 compliant footwear?

    That’s the wife’s bike and the wife’s footwear. But I think I purchased those shoes for her. Pearl Izumi’s, silver, they matched the cranks. That has to count for something.

    Back in the 70s, Shirley Bassey was a regular on Morcambe & Wise’s show. Gotta give it to her, she has a great sense of humor. Not many stars of her caliber would do a skit like that.

    Andre Previn was a regular too: This ALWAYS cracks me up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zHBN45fbo8




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  40. @Ron

    There may come a time that the taller head tube on a 56 is a better fit for you? Wishful thinking maybe…




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  41. We used to get scolded for saying Palo Alto Bike Shop or Palo Alto Bikes when I worked there back in the 1980’s. “Thanks for calling Palo Alto Bicycles. This is Paul. How may I help you?”




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  42. @stooge

    Is this a male thing? Do women have such emotional attachments for inanimate objects?

    I think it is a male thing, or at least more noticeably a male thing. Males tend to own more larger inanimate objects. Woman seem to become emotionally attached to things I term, to my wife’s annoyance, trinkets.

    That’s true of some women, perhaps, but certainly not all. Gianni was spot on when he considered it might be a Velominati thing. As a woman, I feel the need to confirm that we do have what some would call borderline unhealthy emotional attachments to our bikes. I still have my first road bike, and will not part with it under any circumstances. I proudly call it the nine bike, as I adore riding in shit weather. Merely calling it a rain bike is a disservice and implies that I care about it less. There are four bikes in the stable at present, and I doubt they’ll be sold when new steeds join the ranks. They all have a story – we’ve had our good days and bad days together. Their paint scratches are mirrored in my scars, and every one is a badge of honor. How could I possibly part with one? It would be like losing your best friend.

    An old (non-cycling) boyfriend once looked around my garage filled with bikes, wheelsets, tools, and enough spare parts to build another bike, and asked why I didn’t get rid of the old bikes when I bought a new one. I had long ago learned it was futile to explain the differences between them (“That’s a road bike, and that’s a cross bike…”) and instead came up with the brilliant excuse that I still use today: “Well, you see, it would be so hard to get rid of them because I’m so short. I mean, finding someone who rides a tiny size would take forever, so I might as well just hang onto them.” To cycling friends, I am far more vocal about how much I adore them and refuse to part with them, though.




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  43. @Chica

    Yeah, I know it’s not all women. Not even a Velominati thing. I have a female friend who doesn’t part with cars. I understand your attachment to your bikes. I feel the same way about my guitars, and have also long ago given up explaining the differences between them. To a non guitarist they see sameish, but they are all very very different. Even the least played of them has spent many hundreds of hours in my arms. I’m kinda like that with my bikes, but not to the same degree. I’ve passed a couple (from before I was fully grown) on but I’ve not sold any before. The ones I no longer have that weren’t passed on were all snapped up; but they did not die in vain as donations allowed others to live longer.




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  44. @kixsand

    @Ron

    There may come a time that the taller head tube on a 56 is a better fit for you? Wishful thinking maybe…

    Good point! And good thinking.




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  45. Given the thoughtful comment from @Chica it would appear the love of the Bike know no boundaries once one has become “a Cyclist”.

    VLVV




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  46. @DeKerr

    Given the thoughtful comment from @Chica it would appear the love of the Bike know no boundaries once one has become “a Cyclist”.

    VLVV

    Gianni’s Mrs never became “a Cyclist” then?




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  47. @Chica

    Thanks @Chica, I’m glad to hear this is not just a male thing.

    They all have a story – we’ve had our good days and bad days together. Their paint scratches are mirrored in my scars, and every one is a badge of honor. How could I possibly part with one? It would be like losing your best friend.

    This!




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  48. @stooge

    @DeKerr

    Given the thoughtful comment from @Chica it would appear the love of the Bike know no boundaries once one has become “a Cyclist”.

    VLVV

    Gianni’s Mrs never became “a Cyclist” then?

    Well, let’s just say she doesn’t give a toss about the Rules but she loves to crush souls on a climb. She does like to match her shoes to her helmet to her socks to her cable housings. And she loves beer so all in all she is a cyclist, but maybe not a Cyclist. I don’t know.




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  49. You know that phrase “it’s better to regret something you did than something you didn’t?” Ain’t so when it comes to selling a bike




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  50. Haha, its been great to read this , had some fun time, keep posting !




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