Last week, BotchedExperiment joined a group of friends I was riding with. It was a perfect day for mountain biking: 76 degrees, and the desert mountain singletrack was in that state where it’s dry enough not to stick to your tires, but hasn’t yet become dusty.

Intrigued to finally meet a guy who consistently has some of the best comments on my blog, I rode most of the way with Botched: talking with him, getting suckered by him (he briefly had me convinced that he was a convicted felon), and frequently falling off my bike for his entertainment.

Also, I noticed that Botched has a fluid, easy style on his bike. He was easily doing tight hairpin turns. He was doing little jumps off rocks. He was doing effortless wheelie drops. He was comfortably hopping sideways across gullies. And he was doing this all in such a way that made it look like he wasn’t really working—like he and his bike had just come to an agreement on what to do, and now they were doing it.

It made me think: my relationship with my bike is not quite so comfortable. I tend to whine and wheedle with my bike, begging it to please—just this once—do what I want it to. “Look,” I say to my bike (sometimes aloud, sometimes in a furtive whisper), “would it kill you to keep traction while I ride up this loose section with the waterbars and boulders? Is that really so much for me to ask of you?”

When you think about it, practically everyone has some kind of relationship with their bike, and it’s pretty easy to tell what it is just by watching them.


Master and Servant

When Bob’s on his bike, you know who’s in charge. Bob is, that’s who. Watching him approach a tricky move is vastly entertaining because you get the sense he wants to punish the bike, bash the stupid thing against the rock ledge. Show it who’s boss. Bob wrenches the handlebars side to side, lunges over rocks, lands hard. If the bike ever had a will of its own, Bob soon crushes it.


Dance Partners

Brad is the exact opposite of Bob. He rides with gravity-defying grace, not so much riding up ledges as flitting. Obstacles cease to be obstacles when Brad is nearby, and instead become props on the stage for his ballet. A tight, twisty series of turns looks like a waltz when Brad’s on his bike. Sometimes Brad leads, sometimes his bike does.

It doesn’t look as fruity as I just made it sound, though.


Enthusiastic Readers of Steven Covey Books

Rocky and his bike seem to be imbued with a “can-do” attitude. They’re highly effective. They’re both firmly in quad 1 (“This move is both Urgent and important!”), and work enthusiastically and efficiently to accomplish their primary objective: to clean the current move. Then they modestly act like it was no big deal, because modesty is a desirable attribute of highly effective people, too.


Bickering Old Married Couple

That’s Kenny. He’s on his bike so much that it’s developed aches and pains—I’ve been with him when a frame has cracked (“Oh, my aching back!”) and earlier this week I mentioned how a crank dropped off (“I think I broke my hip.”). Still, they understand each other better than anyone else ever will, and you can’t imagine them away from each other.


Indifferent Strangers

Dug doesn’t care what bike he’s on, and it shows. He barely acknowledges that the bike exists, and when asked how he likes his bike, he says, “It’s fine,” regardless of what he’s riding. The bike, for its part, does what is asked of it, sort of the same way a stranger will scoot over for another stranger on a bus, perhaps giving a mild, noncommittal smile: “Well, since we’re together for the trip, we may as well make the best of it.”


That About Does It 

I’m pretty sure that covers it for bike/rider relationships. In fact, i’m so sure, i’m willing to wager a Banjo Brothers Pocket Messenger Bag that nobody could possibly come up with a better one.


  1. Zed

    When your bike is almost as big as you are, as in my case, you really have to show it who’s boss. Then I read things about "fighting with the pedals" being a bad riding style, and I can’t help but think, "Hey, if I don’t, my bike’ll beat me up and steal my lunch money."

  2. Karen

    One Night Stand

    Some times when I get on my bike, it feels like the first time. No matter how experienced I think I am, I don’t have the in-sync feeling that one might feel with a long-time partner. It seems to be more work than it is worth and in the end, I wonder if I would have been better off in the woods alone. However, there are other times that it is magic- the moves are all done the right way, at the right time, with the right amount of enthusiasm. It feels like she and I have been together forever. But even with the duds, I still go back for more….I guess I am just a bike ho.

  3. Unknown

    My relationship with the bike is more like a pledge at frat house during hazing.  "Thank you sir, may I have another!"

  4. Unknown

    sadly, i treat my bike like a trophy wife.  one look at me and my bike
    together immediately conjures up images of donald trump and one of his
    bimbos.  snickers are heard.  people start muttering things like,
    "would you look at that fat slob and that ellsworth he’s carrying
    around?  it’s obvious he’s only got it for it’s looks."  or "you see it
    all the time.  guy gets a promotion and bam, he drops his old bike and
    runs out and gets a new model which he probably won’t spend any more
    time with than his old one.  scandalous."

  5. Unknown

    On our ride, dug was riding a single speed I asked him what gear he was running, and he said "I don’t know". He is probably the only single speed rider in the world that doesn’t know what gear they’re turning.
    As for you and your bike, I’d say you have an ‘Akward first date’ kind of relationship. You want to be friendly and maybe even passionate, and at times you forget your nervousness and make beautiful love together, but most of the time it’s. . . well, just a lot of clumsy groping and apologizing.
    P.S. I have been doing some detailed analysis as to how it is possible for someone to have ridden as much as you have and still not be a very good technical rider. So far, I have ruled out tentativeness. You sir, wreck with gusto. Repeatedly.

  6. Tom Stormcrowe

    In my case, it’s kind of like Dan Blocker and his horse (Bonanza, for those of you young enough not to get the reference). I swing on the bike and my bike says "Please tell me it’s a road ride, I’m not in the mood for a drop off a ledge" ::GRIN::

  7. Unknown

    My relationship with my bikes is generally similar to the Wehrmacht’s historical relationship with France.  When the bike sees me coming, it cringes in terror, threatens it will hurt me, and wonders why with its industrial superiority it cannot defeat me and drive me off.  Yet for all the hostility, when I hop on, the bike rolls over and behaves like my poodle.  It whispers to other bikes that it truly hates being ridden hard by a big, square headed guy who likes schnitzel and beer and who rides with a violent and fundamentally evil riding style, but we all know that secretly it loves me with every ounce of its being and in spite of occasionally blowing up my rear areas, it really wishes it was just like me.  Then when I leave, my bikes tell each other that they all hated me, I made them do terrible things (they didn’t have a choice, you know; what would you have done?), and that they resisted as hard as they could, making it tough for me on hills.  The mountain bike in particular brags about having bitten me repeatedly when I wasn’t expecting it.  But in their hearts… in their hearts, they know I OWN THEM.  Bwaaa haaaa haaa haaa.   
    Except for the Fixie.  I have the same relationship with the fixie that the afforementioned Wehrmacht had with Mistress Helga, the mid-thigh-leather-booted dominatrix.  Mistress Helga sometimes hurts me and makes me cry, and I rather like it.  Please Mistress, may I have another?  

  8. barry1021

    Careful folks, he’s being too nice, he must want somethin’.
    Actually FC, my previously mentioned incident with my new fixie may qualify for your little contest. As I mentioned, I learned that the last hurdle in getting used to a fixed gear is when you are SURPRISED by something UNEXPECTED. I learned this because as I pedaled out of the saddle, I hit some winter sand and the rear wheel slid a little–not a big deal normally but in that instant, I stopped pedaling by instinct and found myself hanging over the handlebars. All I really remember from the crash is the pain in my left hip and buttocks, which now sports a bruise in the shape of (and, sadly, the size of) Long Island. However it was the pain in the groin area that I could not explain, that is, until 36 hours later I actually managed to do a little walking and thought to myself, "Well it feels like I have a saddle up my butt". At this point I realized that at some point in the crash my saddle and I made contact in the normal relationship, but at a very high rate of speed. I can honestly say Fatty, for the fleeting instant of time, that I was truly one with my bike.

  9. jim

    The Un-respected Boss
    My bike knows that my title is boss but does not respect me or my position.  It doesn’t think I notice but I often catch him snickering and making comments under his breath as though he would be better suited to have my position.  With this strained relationship he also has some bitterness over being passed up for the promotion.  He was up for the spot when the "powers that be" recruited me from outside the company. 

  10. Unknown

    Have several bikes.  Love them all.  Ride each one lovingly.  Each is a true partner in my life. 
    Think that they all get along with each other just fine and that each never thought of herself as being taken for granted.  Even when the hot new one comes along.
    "I’d like a nice road trip in the country too, of course," she said. "But, no, I’m the one that gets saddled up with sacks of groceries on the weekend and ride in a.m./p.m. car traffic on bumpy roads all week.  This rack and these bags make me look frumpy when I really just want to be free.  Yeah, he loves me, but what’s in it for me?  I don’t even get washed."
    "And as for you girls, when you just want to stay home, well there you stay.  But me?  Ha!  I go every morning come hell or high water.  You don’t think I’d like a day off now and then?"

  11. Diego

    Hey Mr. Fat Cyclist!
    Well,  I’m an average Joe nay I lie, below an average Joe, but my bike is not. And sometimes I wonder how I got it…I mean her. And when we go out, people STOP & STARE and say, "How did he get her". My bike is of course my life, she is my literal pride and joy. And to please her I would do anything, so when we do go out, she leads I follow, I go where she goes, holding her purse the entire while. Some may say I am whipped, but she does keep me happy. My sole purpose in life is for her. And it is that that holds my contentment. Of course, when she gets into one of her fits, then ass on road is most likely the course I will be destined for.

  12. Kevin

    My relationship with my bike is that of the band with one really talented member – the other member being mediocre. Half the time my bike makes up for my mistakes. The other half she wishes she could have done it without me tagging along.

  13. Adam

    Mistress and Philanderer.  I try to be a devoted husband and father, but soon find my eyes wandering to that corner of the garage, where the bike is waiting, welcoming.  Our daliances are passionate, energetic, and ultimately, too short.  I then spend the next week slinking around the house guiltily and trying not to make eye contact with my wife.  I try to reform, stay straight, but after a week or two, I stray again, telling my wife I’m just going to ride down to the store for milk, but returning 3 hours later, breathing heavy and sweating.  Without the milk.

  14. Zed

    Oh, I see, go changing it to a contest after I’ve already left a comment. Allrighty then …
    My mountain bike and I have a similar relationship to two kids who were best friends all through elementary school and basically discovered the world together. Like the adolescent tomboy girlfriend/best friend situation. Yeah, the two of us have been places together that neither of us has been otherwise. We’ve explored new territory, spilled a little blood, and, dare I say, grown up together …
    The road bike and I, on the other hand, have more of a working relationship. Yes, we enjoy what we do and we do it with vigor, but there’s a hint of necessary evil in that relationship. She’s a little higher maintenance than the aforementioned mt bike–more of a suitcoat and a tweed skirt type of bike. And sometimes I get so involved in the pedaling, I completely forget she’s there …

  15. Unknown

    How about Servant and Master.
    Sometimes when riding I feel like the bike is actually the master. I suggest a move and my bike veto’s my suggestion and instead initaites a move that usually ends with us parting company. Each of us enjoying a few moments of gravity aided tumbling.

  16. Joshua

    Brand New Loversthis is usually with a new rider and/or new bike, essentially niether the rider or the bike knows what the other is capable of.  with the newly formed intamacy they can do amazing things; sometimes amazing crashes, other times clearing amazing obstacles.  almost always one is shortly followed by the other.  when bike and rider click they can clear obstacles that have challenged them for years.  when they don’t click even the smallest curb can be deadly.

  17. Nanget

    "I think we should just be friends"
    One partner in the couple wants the relationship to be something more. But the other can’t see that happening. For example one day someone blurts out "I think we should go racing together" this is after the relationship only involved commuting to work. But the other is non-commital to the idea with this partner. When the race comes around this partner is non-response, tired, cold and quite distressed with racing.
    In the end, a conversation takes place along these lines "Look, it’s not working out. I think we should just be friends"

  18. joan

    Brand New Lovers ReduxThis phenomenon occurred for me the first time I bought a road bike.  I spent every free minute I had with that bike.  When I wasn’t with it, I was thinking about it.  I bought it thoughtful little surprise gifts.  I dressed it up nicely and took it out frequently.  I protected it from big mean thieves as well as the weather.  But…I eventually met someone else, my first mountain bike…and let’s just say that my first road bike and I are no longer on speaking terms.

  19. Unknown

    Al, in the long and often bizzare history of this blog, Hitler’s army has never before been mentioned. Congratulations.

  20. Tyler

    My fixed-gear Basso has a bad attitude.
    It cut my finger off once.  Well, a little bit of it.  THAT stopped me from riding.
    Another time recently, it decided to drop its chain round a slightly downhill corner, jam the chain between the ‘stays and the cog, and lock the rear wheel.  Rider + ground = immediately.
    But it’s not exactly EVIL.  Like I said, it only took off a bit of the finger, and they sewed it back on.  Two days before the chain-drop incident, I had been doing intervals on a 12% climb.  Could’ve done it going down THAT, but it didn’t.  How … thoughtful.

  21. Petra

    Wikipedia defines Love-Hate relationships:
    “ …when people have completely lost the intimacy within a loving relationship, yet still retain some passion for, or perhaps some commitment to, each other.”
    “ …when Person #1 (the cyclist) loves or desires Person #2 (the bike), while Person #2 hates Person #1. This could lead Person #1 to obsession and possibly insanity””
    “… the way one may love the object or person one moment, and yet the next moment feel great rage or hatred for it.”
    “… one party (the cyclist) feels indebted to another and forges a friendship but still holds a grudge over a particular past disappointment or set of disappointments, while the "creditor" (the bike) in the relationship agrees to the nature of the relationship often for security reasons”
    How could Wikipedia not be talking about my tour bike and I?
    Magic hung heavy in the air when we met, me with dreams of long-term commitment, and him with the shiny new assurance that no challenge is too great. He was perfect, I was entralled. It was a shot-gun wedding, and we were off to Europe for our four-month honeymoon.
    The first month went so well. He carried me wherever I wanted to go, always trustworthy, always up for the ride. I lavished love on him, oiling his parts every night, making sure he was safe and comfortable.
    Things started to sour when I installed the second set of panniers. He wasn’t happy. Said he wouldn’t have committed if he’d known I carried so much baggage. Said he was tired of doing all the work. He got cranky. Didn’t handle well on loose terrain, started to complain when I pedalled too hard. The union of minds and bodies was gone. Riding together wasn’t a joy anymore, but I kept trying. For the sake of what we used to have, I tried to fix the relationship, told him I valued him even more for the extra work he was doing. Lavished attention on him, bought him gifts. But he didn’t return the effort. He wanted out, and became passive-aggressive to drive me away. To my face he’d be tractable as a kitten, staying serenely in place when I set him up on his kickstand or leaned him against a curb, but anytime I turned around — *CRASH!*, down he’d go in a heap, just to scare the daylights out of me. He developed a habit of complaining under his breath at each pedal stroke, but when I checked with him for problems with a bottle of lube in my hand, he wouldn’t make a peep, not a sound to tell me what was wrong.
    My nerves started to fray, I developed an anxiety disorder. One moment, I’d be in a rage at the bastard’s callous behaviour. The next, I’d be overwhealmed with guilt at having overburdened my darling.
    Things came to a head one day, when we were getting on the train in Italy. He decided to refuse to board with me. I tried pleading, but he turned a deaf ear. I tried to get physical, but he just stood there, a dead weight as I tugged on his frame. The conductor finally had to help, and we forced him onto the train as he braced himself obstinately against the doorway. He resented that deeply, and let me know as soon as we were alone. I leaned him against the side wall and hadn’t even turned completely around when *CRASH!*. He vented his rage, pitching violently againt me and knocking me down. It was an ugly fight. I came away with deep scratches, he ended up with a broken kickstand.
    I didn’t leave him. He’d carried me so far and I couldn’t just abandon him in Europe. But it was a good thing the tour was almost over, because I could never turn my back on him again.
    I’ve since wondered why he didn’t leave me earlier, but now I think I know. He was just using me as a security blanket, someone to keep him safe from unwanted attention, until we both got home to Canada. We speak, but rarely. He lives alone now, and I’ve moved on to a more balanced relationship.

  22. Unknown

    Neither, Mr. Botched, has "saddle rape" been mentioned in these environs.  I checked to see if either was a Googlewhack, and unfortunately, we’re not that original.  "Fat Cyclist Saddle Rape" yielded this little gem, in which the blogger compares riding on a real bike saddle in spin class to being sexually assaulted by pygmies.  (There is so much wrong in that sentence that I can barely re-read it, and can’t believe I just wrote it). 
    In contrast, "Fat Cyclist Wehrmacht" gave this delightful result – The Hungarian Quarterly.  That’s right, Botched.  Your sick comment is akin to something written by some deranged blogger who is a non-hacker in spin class.  My sick comment is akin to something you’d find in the scholarly Hungarian Quarterly discussing the bicycling experiences of grossly obese gauleiters.  Okay, fine, it’s not the Magyar Monthly, but it sure beats the deranged rantings of some 10 percenter who got her… um… unmentionables kicked by a Schwinn stationary bike…

  23. BIg Mike In Oz

    It’s fascinating that Rocky fell into that particular category.  I seem to recall Rocky stating that he reviles everything even vaguely related to the industry spawned by Napoleon Hill and Zig Ziglar.  Or maybe he doesn’t consciously live the attitude because he is the attitude.

  24. Born4Lycra

    My bike and I are in a relationship based entirely on wishfull thinking.I wish she was a top of the line Spanish Full Carbon Road Bike flashy fast and bright orange in colour. She wishes I was a slim competitive bike rider with the class of a European the confidence ofa yank and the good looks of an Aussie. She gets a fat overweight English bloke and I get a blue base grade road bike. We stick together because we have too!
    Just an observation FC but down here in down under if you went to the beach I’m sure you would be small enough to get sand kicked in your face. You are not fat just cuddly!

  25. Andrew

    Remember the days of middle school intro dances? Recall the last slow dance of the evening? First all the popular kids move to the center of the dance floor, then the ones who weren’t too cool but had escaped the label of "dork for life". The it was just you, and across the hall, the ugliest damn girl you could ever imagine, complete with bad breath and frizzy hair? And you had to ask her to dance because to sit out the last one would have been even more humiliating?
    Yep. Me and my bike.

  26. BIg Mike In Oz

    My track bike and I… fused at the hip.  And seperated in the emergency department.
    My road bike and I… like an old married couple.  Just grinding through the long arduous days together, slightly resentful yet presenting a powerful synergy.
    My fixie and I… there is no descriptor for this relationship.  We are one.  The SNAP sound when I clip out at the end of a ride on the fixie is not from the pedals releasing the cleats.  It’s the sound of my heart breaking – just a little – only to repair itself again upon our next rendezvous.

  27. Tim D

    The bike and I become one, it becomes an extension of my body.  As such, it is prone to bouts of uncontrollability, falling over for no apparent reason and crashing into things that would have been better to go around.   And this morning to suddenly feeling deflated.

  28. Sue

    Al, did you read the name of the guy that was giving the first hand account on your hungarian pseudo-nazi fat cyclist web site google hit? Pfisterer. Yep. I swear it’s true. Maybe in Hungarian that’s no big deal. . .

  29. Unknown

    What would Freud think of all this syrupy soul-baring on a blog of all places ? Once again, FC, you have created a monster.

  30. barry1021

    Botched and Al
    May I point out while the two of you descend into depravity, I am still waddling like a duck here 10 days after my incident. Where’s the love??

  31. Unknown

    Barry, asking roadies for love is like asking a fat cyclist "where’d that plate of brownies go?"  If it was ever there at all, it disappeared so fast that it might as well never have existed, possibly disappearing from the space-time continuum before it even arrived.  (Physicists call this gone-before-it-really-arrived phenomenon "Brownian motion," BTW).  "Where’s the love?"  Please, caucasian.  The only place you can find love in sports, is in tennis, and occasionally on the PGA leader board.  So quit yer whinin’, Brooks-back Mountain.
    Botched, "Pfister" is a fairly common German family name, enough so that after I’d lived there for a while I couldn’t even manage a "heh… heh… you said ‘Pfister’," out of the deal.  It’s not as comical as Felcher, Wacker, Andy Dick, or Rafferty Bob Ash Chewbacca Peate for that matter, but I’ll concede it has some lowbrow comic potential. 

  32. Unknown

    Real News from Pez (this sounds a lot like a FC Fake News item):  Ullrich – He’s Actually Going To Race!In a shock announcement Jan Ullrich has revealed that he will indeed be racing this season. "Jan is pain-free now and will progressively intensify the training load in the coming days, in order to be prepared for the Tour of Romandie“ said team manager Olaf Ludwig. He has increased the intensity of his training which is reportedly including motor-pacing and is scheduled to line up for the Swiss stage race next week. It is as yet unknown whether the former Tour de France winner has had a haircut.

  33. Tom

    I’m the eldest of me and my brothers, except for my bike. We have a plainly-aggressive, love/hate relationship based on the vindictiveness, one-upmanship and constant embittered battling of sibling rivalry.
    My bike has an ‘older brother’ relationship with me. He sneers as i struggle really quite badly up climbs. His deceitful snickerings haunt my every ride. He verbally and physically abuses me every time I’m with him. He’s cold, hard, brutal and totally inflexible, and I’m doing so well with the poorly-disguised metaphors today.
    Everytime I feel recovered enough to spend some time with him, he takes me out and wipes the floor with me.
    I’ve sweated blood over his immovable visage, always trying to live up to his expectations. To be the best rider I can. To be worthy of his presence, his majesty, his well-defined frame.
    I hate my bike. He never gets tired, he’s seemingly invincible, he’s indefatiguable.
    And yet he’s my best friend. When no-one else has the time, he gently listens to my fears, my angsts, my furious, slightly mindless, rantings with the compassionate patience and tender nurturing of a parent. He drives me higher and harder than ever before.
    He looks out for me, carries my weight when I’m tired, and has never let me down.
    He’s family.

  34. Sue

    So in other words, Ullrich finally got around to swining a leg over the top tube? Oh yeah, whew, I bushed. I think I’ll call it a day. Did you see what Sutherland said about Ulrich’s fitness: "catastrophic". Wow.
    Anyway, for those of you who havn’t read it, I highly suggest Fatty’s  "Sport Mountain Biker Pitties Jan Ullrich" it can be found on the links to the left.

  35. Andrew

    Dear Stuttering Satrap of Steatohepatitis,
    My bike is like a green idea, a random rabbit, a snow burger. It is the dust on Mt. Everest, the water in the Sahara, or the dogs in the Pacific. It is a tree without the moon, a kiss without the headache, a snore without the pajamas. My bike is the 4 to my 15, the scotum to my armpit, the repitition in my singularity. My bike talks to me. It haunts me in my sleep. It controls my brainwaves with the cables and shifters. I turn on the radio trying to drown it out, and I hear the click click clidk of the chain against my appendix. If I were my bike I’d probably rather be a large dumb dung beetle.

  36. Unknown

    I think my bike and I fall into the category of a once-in-love-now-bitterly-divorced couple.  Once upon a time when I was younger, more svelt, she was new, responsive and always willing to explore new places.  The golden age of monotony has passed where we continued to do the same old things that we were comfortable with.  Now we have stepped into the bitter divorce stage because I have started looking at other bikes; I am convinced that my bike can smell the scent of another bike a mile away…and it does not like it.  On group rides she performs random acts of severe un-kindness, such as dropping 3 crank bolts so I bend both chainrings, making it impossible to ride and have to walk the last 20 miles or call for a rescue.  Breaking a seatpost is also random…and very unkind.  Yep, I’m convinced that because I’ve started looking for a new bike, my current one has filed for divorce and is waging the fiercest battle ever.

  37. Unknown

    Dick Pound, eh?  I can’t top that one.  Well, except to note that I hope someday to attend a TDF stage that passes through this town. 

  38. Unknown

    Analyst and patient?  Sadist and masochist? LOL!
    You have the most fertile mind I have ever run across and I never stop being impressed by your ability to observe and write such entertaining stories.
    I just re-read a Dave Barry book, specifically to observe a correlation but you outshine him so brightly it hurts my eyes. 

  39. Sue

    Tim D, HA! I like your interpretation better, but I was thinking swinging. Like as if he were mounting his bike. . .
    Botched (again and always)

  40. Gregory

    -First Weekend Together Couple-
    You first met in the bike store or on some website; you’re immediately attracted to each other so you decide to get together.  In the parking lot of the store (or your driveway, depending if the bike was shipped) you guys get along great.  Why not take the relationship to the next level? How about a trail ride with technical moves?  Sure it’s a great idea, but the longer your on the trial the more you start to hate each other stop cooperating.  "You cost 1500 bucks! This should be easy" you say, "Well you’re the technical rider!" the bike says.  I guess it was just a bad match up.

  41. Unknown

    My bike and I are fishing buddies, for two reasons: the other day, it
    started making noises.  I tried to fix it and failed.  The
    bike responded, "If you can’t fix it, you have to live with it." 
    If that wasn’t strange enough, I found myself uttering this gem last
    night on my ride home "I wish I knew how to quit you!"

  42. A Dawn Tinsley

    My bike and I have a Sensei and Grasshopper relationship. My bike is the Sensei. I am just the grasshopper…
    Me: Sensei, your magical powers saved us from busting ass in the middle of that intersection when we hit that crack in the pavement. I truly have so much to learn
    Bike: Yes grasshopper, your terrible balance is a weakness you must fight against. I have spared you this time, but next time I might not be able to
    Me: Sensei, you warned me to change gears before I got too much pressure on the chain. I did not listen to you and now I am jammed and its raining!
    Bike: Grasshopper, you still have much to learn about shifting, I will help you get unjammed quickly this time, but next time you may not be so lucky
    Me: Sensei, how did we ever make it up that hill! You are so powerful and strong, I would have failed without you!
    Bike: Grasshopper, your mind is willing, but your flesh is weak. I have given you 21 gears to assist you up these hills, but use them wisely or your flesh will be weak forever.
    Me: Sensei, which trail is less frought with peril? The road has a nice sidewalk, but I have to cross many intersections. The trail is nice through the forest, but there are toddlers and puppies who may block my way!
    Bike: Grasshopper, the time has come for you to choose your own trail…Everyone must choose their path on their own!

  43. Unknown

    I thought about this at some length as I took my road bike out for a spin beside the ocean on Saturday, and as we got caught in a downpour right at the far end of our out-and-back route.
    I was distressed at the clarity with which the conclusion settled upon me. This bike is my trophy wife.
    Those carbon curves, that titanium jewellery, the sheer newness of it all – such a machine would never be seen with a schlub like me unless I could find a way (within the confines of a rather ordinary salary) to pay, and pay a lot. But the analogy runs closer than that.
    I like the envious glances I get at races, and on group rides. But they also worry me. My rivals know that I don’t have the legs to merit quite that much of a Record gruppo, or wheels so svelete and stiff. The contrast is too obvious.
    I don’t want to disappoint my bike, so I train maniacally, like a menopausal man with a new love interest and a gym membership. I’ve changed my dress style too – Assos is to obvious for us, but I scour the shops for other imported brands (Santini, DeMarchi) and head out the door detailed from head to toe: mutton dressed as lamb. It embarrasses my friends, but my bike makes me do it.
    Even so, nothing I do can quite keep my bike from reminding me that I am letting it down – this machine is built for speeds I can’t attain. But I do my best. And even though that’s far from enough, the bike gives it all back converting every watt of my puny output into a pace I almost certainly don’t deserve.
    And kicking around a steep bend, on a chilly autumn day, I know I’d pony up the cash all over again.
    The obvious question, of course, is whether I’ll ditch her for a newer model in a few years time, just because I can. And the answer, I am sorry to say, is yes.

  44. Unknown

    Lov/Hate My buddy loves his bike, a brand new Santa Cruz Heckler. He buys it all sorts of shiny new bits. Meticulously keeps it clean, tuned and lubed. He would probably sleep with it if his wife would let him.
     Unfortunately, the bike doesn’t seem to love him back. He’s crashed dramatically numerous times doing mundane moves on switchbacks, small jumps, and washing out on sandy/gravely turns. We teased him about starring in "Brokebike Mountain".The funny thing is this never happened on his Specialized FSR.
    So there you have it, the love/hate relationship.

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