A couple of days ago I was reminded of a time in my life when I only had one bycicle. I rode my bike through my years in school and although I only had that one bike, I wasn’t really keen on proper maintenance. I basically wore it down to no longer ridable and beyond and somehow managed to get myself another bike which would eventually suffer the same treatment. The funny thing is that at some point of my young adulthood I learned to take proper care of my bike and since then have been wondering how people keep neglecting the necessity of keeping their rides in good shape. Likewise did this elderly gentleman I met on my last shopping jaunt:
He came by bike as you can see. While I parked my ride next to his, he started commenting the lack of commitment and appreciation people had towards their belongings nowadays. He obviously couldn’t understand why people treat their bikes as bad as they do, leaving them outside to rust, neglecting their overall condition and simply not taking care of something that cost money in the first place and had to be replaced eventually, making for huge piles of unnecessary waste. He was the kind of grumpy but lovely grampa you wouldn’t want to contradict. And he was right in the first place. His ride was the complete antithesis to all of them crappy, junky bycicles standing around:
What a perfect example of just the right amount of care being taken. It’s so perfectly simple if you look at it. Dis ride here breaks it down to zero bullshit, one hundred percent sensible maintenance:
Keep your bike clean! Exchange tires if necessary, not sooner, not later. Clean your hubs, rims and spokes and please don’t try to act hardcore by leaving your ride in a messy state, it doesn’t give you more street cred, it just shows that you don’t value what you’ve got.
Go ahead and match colors if you like, but keep it nice and simple, don’t go all out clown makeup on your ride and again: Keep your bike clean and dry, it will make it last a lifetime and show your appreciation and thankfulness. Just think about how many people on this earth will never be able to afford a bike and if they could, they’d probably cherish it and treat it with utmost respect (I remember my grandma telling me the exact same thing) .
I believe grampa comes from a generation where you really had to work hard to get what you wanted. I mentioned that sometimes it seemed people have it too easy nowadays, he gave me his old school nod of approval but wasn’t willing to get caught up in any bike associated rambling whatsoever, he was way too cool for that. A short ‘bye’ and off he went. Probably in his late seventies and still fit like a fiddle he jumped on his ride:
I had to take the same route and while I rode behind him I once again thought about how happy I’d be to get old and stay fit and healthy enough to still ride my bike:
I also wonder how I might react to people’s habits and ways of mistreating their bikes in 30 to 40 years from now. Would I even give a shit? Or would I try to mess with youngsters on occasion making them think I’m witty and cool?
Wait a second, did grampa maybe just buy a vintage bike on ebay to act all old school and take the piss out of someone who cares way too much about bikes?!
Guess I’ll never find out…