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Old 01-03-09, 11:22 AM   #1
cccorlew
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New bike -- cornball conundrum

As I look at Tricia's new Surly Cross-Check (Thread with photos), propped up in front of our Christmas tree, I find myself charmed by its new-born innocence.

The cassettes and chain rings are sparkling. The chain still shines. The paint is pure; without adolescent pimples or old warrior battle scars. The tires have barely encountered pavement.
Because it's only a 42cm frame it also has that young colt, all legs and knees look that make me think of spring, hope, and corn ball movies.

What is it about a new bike that makes it so beautiful? In a coldly rational evaluation it's a machine that still needs a water bottle cage, a seat bag with a spare, new pedals (or at least toe straps), a pump, a bunch of adjustments, and, in this bikes case, a rack, panniers, and a light. It will take hours to make it really useful, and when it's done it will be great. But it will also look like a bike with baggage. All its clean perfection will be obscured by the very things that make it ride worthy. It was purchased not to be a jewel, but to be a solid citizen commuter, carrying school papers and a molder of young minds to school each day. It will be doing noble work, and will be dressed appropriately for it's task. It will be beautiful.

So then why am I somewhat sad? Why do I wish she'd just leave it in the warm, dry, safe living room a bit longer?

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Old 01-03-09, 11:26 AM   #2
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You're projecting.
At some point, that innocent, clean, perfect bike needs to get outdoors and meet the real world. It will probably get a few scratches along the way; nothing serious.

Sound like anyone you know?

Edited: I thought I read somewhere this was for your daughter! I didn't realize it's for your wife! I'm sure she can take care of herself.
Darn. Looks like my armchair psychologist days are over...

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Old 01-03-09, 11:32 AM   #3
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I felt the same way when I first got the LHT. I wanted to keep it pristine and shiny, avoid every drop of water on the street, etc. I loved it for its looks. Now that I've ridden it, I love it for how it rides and how I feel while riding it. I still care about its looks and try to accessorize it in a way that complements it, but now it's not just a jewel to keep in a case.

PS - I noticed and admired the sparkling drive train in your other post.... and for a moment, I longed for another N+1.
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Old 01-03-09, 11:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
So then why am I somewhat sad? Why do I wish she'd just leave it in the warm, dry, safe living room a bit longer?
Years ago my son bought himself a brand hew Gary Fisher Joshua. Before he even had a chance to ride it he offered it to me for a regular mountain bike ride with some friends. At first I declined. I told him that I couldn't ride his new bike before he did. "What if I wipe out and scratch it up?"

"Dad," he said "It's a mountain bike. You're supposed to wipe out and scratch it up."
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Old 01-03-09, 11:43 AM   #5
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Mtb's have not proved themselves till they have thrown the rider a few times and then be tamed.

But road bikes still need those subtle lines to be kept. A neat wedge under the saddle for puncture repairs- obviously a pump and a water bottle. Any more than that is superfluous.

Till it has to go out in the dark and lights are required. A rack has to go on to carry the Sandwiches and other stuff required for a day at work- and I suppose some form of Audible warning will be required.

Sorry but bikes are there to be used. Unless you wish to wrap it in Cotton wool and only take it out on fine sunny days. Don't think that is the use it was aquired for though.
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Old 01-03-09, 04:43 PM   #6
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Old 01-03-09, 07:27 PM   #7
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You could try pee'ing on it.

Then observe your feelings towards the bike afterwards.

If your wife questions your actions, just tell her that your animal instincts took over and you felt compelled to mark your territory.
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Old 01-03-09, 07:47 PM   #8
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That bike will look even better after it's had some miles put on it. Some things get more beautiful with age . . .
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Old 01-03-09, 08:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
a molder of young minds
I did a double-take on that one. Especially now that my computer glasses are at the opticians awaiting new lenses, I have to be careful that my brain hasn't made guesses about words. Yep, sure as shootin', it had inserted a U into the word, which changes the meaning entirely.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dict.asp?Word=moulder

Here I thought is was TV that decayed young minds, not bicycles.
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Old 01-03-09, 08:48 PM   #10
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Suggest to your DW that her new ride woud look great mounted above the mantel.
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Old 01-03-09, 10:00 PM   #11
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ccorlew: That bike is not as innocent as you think. Don't ask me how I know this.
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Old 01-04-09, 12:30 PM   #12
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After her first real ride, on the road and some gravel trails, Tricia pronounced her ride "a keeper."
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Old 01-04-09, 12:40 PM   #13
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While I was still shopping for the last N+1 (before I bought the LHT), an all-around bike somewhere between hybrid and the go-fast Roubaix, I asked about a Surly at one of the local LBSs. The guy (who appeared to be my age, +/- a year or two, raised his eyebrows and said he was surprised to hear a "young lady" ask for a Surly. I wondered if they are considered a "young man's" bike.
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