Does anyone still get emotional attached to their bikes?

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Ken Kaminski
Participant
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I’ve crashed, otherwise ruined, and had so many bicycles just plain wear out on me that I don’t bother anymore. They’re like really expensive hammers to me.


Anonymous
Inactive
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Yes. My bikes are the only thing that keeps me going right now… in more ways than one.


TeamDecaf
Moderator
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Emotionally attached would be an understatement. I didn’t realize there was an alternative until this thread.


dani
Participant
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the last time i wrecked Little Red, i was so broken up about it. i felt like i had endangered my child. seeing somebody else touch my bikes makes me irrationally mad. so that’s a yes to emotional attachment!


steve k
Participant
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I have one bike older than one year old, but it hadn’t been ridable in two. The bike that I’ve ridden the most in the last year I drilled holes into immediately. I don’t think I could sell it but its disposable. No attachment other than them being tools. If something happens to one, I can replace and be just as happy.

Why get attached to something that will soon be outdated?


edmonds59
Participant
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Wow, is this a can of worms.

I still have the first good bike I bought, a used 1969 Bottechia Giro d’Italia that I bought for $200 in 1974. We drove 5 hours from Cleveland to Dayton Oh to get it from a super special shop at the time. I toured across the country on it in 1976, have bent a dozen sets of wheels and a fork. I refer to it now as Rocinante.

My second good bike I bought with my first paycheck from my first real job, a 1983 Basso Gap, $850. Drove 10 hours to Chicago on a Friday night to stay with a friend who worked at Turin Bikes. We built it Saturday in an over-nighter from the spokes up, and took the first ride at 7:00 am around the city on a blazing clear Chicago Sunday morning. It is now my fixie.

I am equally attached to one of my most recent bikes, a ’80’s Trek 830 rigid mountain bike that I got earlier this year for $50 on Craigslist and converted to a commuter. This bike is like a tank, it has allowed me to ride to work on the shitty Pittsburgh roads and hills and get back into the best shape I’ve been in a while. I refer to it as the Behemoth. I love it.

In 40 some years I have had one bike stolen, and have never sold a bike. You might as well ask if I am emotionally attached to my fingers and toes. I could probably live without one or two, but it just wouldn’t be the same.

Also in terms of hammers I’ve had my eye on an Estwing straight claw 20 oz. rip hammer with the laminated leather grip. Mmmm. Tool candy.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Maybe it’s us guys born in the 1950s. I’m rather emotionally attached to the old red Raleigh I have. It was new in 1977, and is mostly original, though quite rusty. It’s been everywhere I’ve been.

The rest of my bikes, eh, no history there.

But the unicycles, that’s another story. I still have the 1973 Christmas present unk where the story all began. Beaten to a pulp (hell, it was beaten to a pulp by 1976), rusty, everything worn out, but I still ride it every once in a while. The #1 unk is still the one I bought new in 1980 to replace the one that replaced the 1973 unk; the 1976 unk was beyond repair.

Add all the unicycles together, and I’ve put probably 10,000 miles under me in almost 40 years, always trying to keep them repaired and operational.


Anonymous
Inactive
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@Edmonds59 “tool candy”… I love it! As far as the bike – yep, he’s my buddy. In for a tune up and some new gears, etc since yesterday and the garage feels empty. :( Really going to miss him today when it’s going to be such a nice day.


stefb
Participant
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I am emotionally attached to my big block. I have never felt so comfortable on a bike before. I only got it in mid June, but I already have well over 2000 miles on it. I have actually thought to myself that I would be terribly upset if something happened to that bike. I could get another exactly like it right now.. I only switched a few things out on it.. Otherwise it has all stock components on it.. But it wouldn’t be the same.


Erica
Participant
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My first bike that I used for commuting, I bought from my boss for $20. I had SO MANY issues with it, and was constantly taking it in to get fixed. At one point, the bottom bracket fell completely apart and all the ball bearings fell out.

months later, when I got a different bike, I took in the old, heavy, steel mountain bike to the shop and said “Do whatever you need to it; it’ll be my backup.” I was legitimately upset though, when the guy (good-naturedly) said “Can I throw it in the river?” And then explained that I’d be much better off buying another used bike instead of fixing that one up.

tl;dr, yes, I do get attached to my bike, the same way I get attached to a fictional character in a good book/movie/tv show.


edmonds59
Participant
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So, to really pick this question apart (told you it was a can of worms), Stu, I don’t think it’s in any way limited to any age, era, or gender. I think people can have a sensual relationship with objects. I can get excited about the way a certain pen writes, or the way a knife cuts, or the way a particular fabric feels and lays. It’s just a matter of opening that particular channel in your brain. I think the explosion in the NAHBS is proof that people of that mind are in no danger of going away.

I think the original question implies that bikes are “just” tools, and I think that’s entirely correct, bikes are indeed tools. It just underestimates the significance of tools. I have a 30 year old Craftsman rachet that I’ve replaced the internals in several times, but if I have to work on anything of any importance, that’s the one I use, not the generic Quing Dong ratchet that I don’t hesitate to use for beating loose reluctant pieces. My bikes, and tools, are modern magical talismans that allow me to do and experience wonderful things that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. But beyond being physical objects, they are also vessels to carry the memories of the life and experiences that they have been part of, as you might tell from my prior post. That’s where the real value is, experiences should always rule over “things”. So I guess I do get a little attached to them, but I don’t think I am particularly unusual.


Vannevar
Participant
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The bikes that I bought as experiments and then re-sold were both recumbents and while I enjoyed “having” them and learning from them, they were summer flings, cheap dates, exotic flirtations (under seat steering! long wheelbase!) but never my soulmate.

My bikes that I “make a decision to love” (which I suppose really means, the bikes that I subject to illusory anthropomorphism) are my exoskeletons, they are as a part of me as my feet. I care about my bikes in a way that I don’t care about cars or computers.

I try to be about people and World 2 and 3 and strive not to be about stuff and possessions. I could face the loss of two of my three bikes (road, mountain-trail) with equanamity, but the loss of my LHT would be a more emotional experience than if my dog died, and I really really like my dog.

Boy am I screwed up. This will all come out in the final report.


Pseudacris
Participant
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I’m very attached to 2 of my bikes and pretend that they have personalities/moods. I also have some ~20+ y.o. paintbrushes that I love, some really nice scissors and a ~15 y.o. bodum coffee press that I keep replacing screens & glass in.

Tool Drool

[edit] pretty much +1 to everything edmonds59 said about tools. Good quality pencils & paper included.


Anonymous
Inactive
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The first bike I bought when I started riding again as an adult in the 90s was too heavy, too annoying, not fun. I’d ride around town on it, but it was more an obligation to exercise than anything else. Then sometime in 2000 (? timing may be off ?) I went with my husband to the old Gattos on Penn Avenue so he could buy a new bike…I saw this cute little green Cannondale comfort bike on clearance. It felt good, and since it was cheap I bought it on a whim. Turns out that bike made all the difference between riding a bike for exercise, and riding it out of pure love of riding. I’m not sure why–it’s not fancy, and it’s not super-light either–it’s ineffable. I got a road bike earlier this year, but I’m not about to get rid of my old green one. On the other hand, I donated that old, heavy first bike without a second thought.

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