Why Bikes Like Beer: Volume 2, Issue 3: Achieving Harmony in the Hierarchy

So by now you should know who the Alpha Bike is. Now it’s time to get to know how your other, non alpha bikes respond to their situation. This is an essential step in building a healthy, thriving, and functional bike family and will help to ensure that your bikes don’t end up in jail, psychotherapy, or worse, running off with some douchy hipster who wants to show the world how ironic he is by painting your mountain bike chartreuse and turning it into a fixie. It’s also a fundamental step in realizing that, and understanding why, bikes like beer.

In my experience, there are 3 different identities non-alpha bikes tend to adopt. Each of these identities translates into how, and how often, you ride your bike.

1.)The content workhorse. This is the bike that is always ready and willing to go out in any circumstance, whenever it suits you best. It doesn’t do so out of desperation, but instead out of highly developed maturity ( not the boob kind or the wrinkle kind. The rise above it, bigger picture zen kind). This is the bike that doesn’t give you shit when you chain it to the trainer for months on end, because he knows he’s getting you in shape (and what can you do more of when you get in shape? ….). This bike is there for you when your diva pants of an alpha bike whines about how the pavement is too rough, the road is covered in salt, or it just doesn’t feeeeel like it. And in return, you don’t clean the CWB as often as you should, you never let it race, and you put the crappy tires on it. Asshole.

2.)The burnout stoner bike. What’s that smell? Sort of like burning spinach? Dude. That’s your burnout. Like the workhorse, it’s content to hangout while alphie gets all the attention. Unlike workhorse, it’s not ready to jump in whenever. No, the BSB has resigned itself to inferiority, but disguises its rejection by acting like it’s all good. Instead of giving you eager looks when you approach, it just gives a lazy nod and says, “ssup.” You know this bike because it’s the one that randomly gets a flat tire and just shrugs. Don’t get me wrong – when you ride this bike, it’s hella fun! It’s so into the karma thing, that it just rolls along effortlessly. But be careful not to neglect this bike too long. Eventually, it will run out of bike reefer, and paranoia may ensue.

3.)The Bitter, Resentful Bike. If you’ve got one of these, you probably need let it operate on its own terms. The bitter one  emanates pissed offedness in every direction. It effing hates Alpha bike, and by association, it hates you. It might deign to be ridden, but it’s going to shift in the wrong direction just for fun, squeal its brakes so loud your dead uncle will sit up, and slam you down on wet railroad tracks whenever it’s had enough. Come to think of it, this bike is probably bad news for you, so if you have one, stay far away. I hope that leaving it in the shed for ages won’t come back to haunt me…..crap.

Do you have peace amongst your herd?
Do you have peace amongst your herd?

So, how then, is harmony achieved? Basically, you need to listen to and respect these bikes just as much as Alpha Bike, without letting Alpha Bike know. Some tips to get you started:

1. Take the workhorse out on an epic ride once in a while. On a beautiful day. You can tell Alpha bike that you’re going with some slow bikes that’ll make it look bad, if that helps.

2. Accept and acknowledge that you suck whenever Mr. Bitterbits starts screaming at you. It probably won’t make it any nicer to you, but it’ll feel better. And sometimes your bike’s feelings matter more than your own.
3. When stoner bike seems alert, take this as a cue to take him out for a good, earthy spin. Let him lead the way. Who knows? You might even learn something in his rambling philosophization.

And there you have it. Sure, you could look at these behaviour patterns a as a coping mechanism, but your bike would tell you (and you know it’s true) that this is how they get ridden more.

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