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.