Why Bikes Like Beer, Volume 1, Issue 3: So Your Bike Did Not Choose You

I’m sorry. I really am. It sucks to have a bike that doesn’t love you. And it’s not just about the emotional rejection. Riding a bike that did not choose you is just not as much fun. It will never want to to as far, as fast, or as aggressively as you want it to. You won’t get that lovey-dovey feeling when you take it group rides or races.

It’s bad for the poor bike too. You probably don’t keep it as clean and shiny as you should. You might not be as enthusiastic about giving it bling to make it happy. Or, perhaps even worse, you might even try to compensate for the fact that you and your bike lack chemistry by over-accessorizing it, making it look like Tammy Faye Biker or one of those freaky little toddlers in tiaras. And you don’t even really experience true joy on a ride with it. And if you’re not experiencing true joy, your bike is not either. Some bikes are better than others at faking it, but there is no substitute for the real thing.

So, what to do if you have a bike that did not choose you. Well, the obvious action is to wait for the right bike to come along, ride your current bike in the meantime, and sell it when you find “the one.” There is nothing wrong with this option – it’s what’s best for both you and your bike. But you must approach the subject with your bike delicately, lest bike karma rear its ugly side and curse your bike-love life for years to come. (More on bike karma later).

I understand it may be a long time before many of you either find or can afford the bike that has fallen for you, and that’s okay. Do not stop riding your current bike. Instead, have a good long visit with your bike (and clean the damned thing while your at it) to reevaluate your relationship. What you must do during this discussion is be honest with your bike. Let it know that you realize that you were too hasty in adopting it, and that you tried to force things along. Tell your bike that you respect it for what it is – an awesome bike, just not your bike. It is critical, too, to articulate to the bike that you understand that it did not choose you, and you fully intend to release it to fulfill its destiny. Ask it to ride with you until that moment comes. And it probably will. Bikes are much more classy and gracious than people – all you need to do is respect them.

There is a very small chance that your bike might come around and choose you after all. Some bikes just take a long time to trust a rider and must grow to love you. Bikes like this can make the best partners and tend to be unwaveringly loyal to those whom they choose, however; you MUST be 100% honest and respectful towards the bike. If you begin fooling around, skipping rides, or otherwise dissing the bike, it will know.

The moral of the story here is to respect whatever bike you have, but realize that it is unfair to both you and your bike to remain in a bike-lationship with one who did not choose you.

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