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Why so addictive?

Old 09-10-07, 01:01 PM
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Why so addictive?

Why is the riding, collecting/Hoarding of bikes and their parts so addictive?

I have a real junker/beater that rides just fine. I want to get rid of it. I think, should I give it away to Good Will etc, or wait! Why not just strip it down and save the parts? Better yet, hold on to it until you find something you like to replace it. Then you can get rid of it or strip it for parts. What to do, what to do?

Why do I scour Craig's list and Ebay just to see what's around. Things I won't buy anyway. Help!
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Old 09-10-07, 01:17 PM
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Because... it's fun.
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Old 09-10-07, 01:40 PM
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Exercise releases endorphins. That means a natural high. "Dr. Feelgood" arrives on two wheels.
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Old 09-10-07, 01:42 PM
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bobn, you need to spend a lot more time in C & V. We won't cure you, but we won't kill you either.

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Old 09-10-07, 02:23 PM
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It's not addictive. I can quit at any time. (not)
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Old 09-10-07, 09:48 PM
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I will have an answer as soon as my 9th 'currently-owned and ridden' bike arrives, I am sure this is the last one.
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Old 09-10-07, 10:24 PM
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For me, it's the mechanical tinkering of bikes that I enjoy. I find it sort of meditative to overhaul a bottom bracket. Yes, I have issues. It's addicting, and I every now and then I realize that I'm working on my bikes more than riding them! Wow, I need to ride. I gotta new Brooks to break in! cya.
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Old 09-11-07, 01:59 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by bobn View Post
Why is the riding, collecting/Hoarding of bikes and their parts so addictive?
That's because x=n+1 where x is the number of bikes you need before you're truly happy and will never want to spend money on another bike ever again, and n is the number of bikes you currently own
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Old 09-11-07, 04:31 AM
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Well, perhaps I'm just weird, but personally I don't really see the point of constantly buying new gadgets. I'll spend money on things that are quality (my lighting system ran to $600), but I expect the things I buy to last a long time, and I won't rush out and buy "the latest thing" if what I have no serves me well.

That said, the riding of bikes is addictive, no argument there.
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Old 09-11-07, 05:17 AM
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No new gadgets for me, I just like old steel bikes. They each have a different function, and a different feel to the ride. Tinkering is good too. Most women my age never got to learn how to tinker properly, we were always shoved into classes for making gelatin desserts or ironing or beating clothes clean on a rock. How can people function without being able to tinker and dither?

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Old 09-11-07, 05:41 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
No new gadgets for me, I just like old steel bikes. They each have a different function, and a different feel to the ride. Tinkering is good too. Most women my age never got to learn how to tinker properly, we were always shoved into classes for making gelatin desserts or ironing or beating clothes clean on a rock. How can people function without being able to tinker and dither?

East Hill
Yes yes yes! I love the quality and simplicity of an old steel bike. It's wonderful technology and what's more it's so rewarding to work on and fettle. I was lucky, I grew up with a trademan father and later on tradesman brothers. I couldn't help not learning how to tinker because there was always tinkering going on around me.
Each one of my old bikes is different to ride and there's always one to suit my mood whether it be scorcher or dignified or anything in between
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Old 09-11-07, 06:23 AM
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Two things I learned when I first started racing. 1) It's not the bike, it's the rider. and 2) Never ride another guys bike.

That coupled with 3) someone is always faster kinda takes care of the big 3 temptations---lust of the eyes lust of the flesh and the boastful pride of life. (But I still visit the LBS just to look)
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Old 09-11-07, 06:26 AM
  #13  
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How often in life do you get to experience genuine exhilaration? That's my addiction. Aspirin being my drug of choice. But cycling.... now that's a high! But I've wondered myself why BF and gear (!) are addictive, too. Suddenly I'm just obsessed with lumens and qualities of reflectivity, etc, gear redundancy, you name it. Not that I'm buying all this, mind you. I'm with Chris L... quality only and stuff that lasts.
Now, of course some of this is just about beauty....From old steel bikes to new racers, to my new lights. Not enough of that in life. So celebrate it where you find it!

(Hmmm Show us your lights, Chris L. Inquiring minds want to know!)
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Old 09-11-07, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bobn View Post
Why is the riding, collecting/Hoarding of bikes and their parts so addictive?

I have a real junker/beater that rides just fine. I want to get rid of it. I think, should I give it away to Good Will etc, or wait! Why not just strip it down and save the parts? Better yet, hold on to it until you find something you like to replace it. Then you can get rid of it or strip it for parts. What to do, what to do?

Why do I scour Craig's list and Ebay just to see what's around. Things I won't buy anyway. Help!
Riding is one thing, collecting and hoarding and shopping (for bargains or special finds, or whatever it is that you don't really need, and may never really use) -- those are another matter.

They are a disease.

They eat into your life and your time (which is all we have, in a way), and attention.

Get some help, or some kind of overriding counterview or insight or approach.

There are probably discussion groups online, perhaps some Yahoo groups, for this kind of addiction. There may be some twelve-step programs available as well (online and also in-person meetings).

Googling "shopping addiction, groups, online," "collecting, bargain hunting," etc. will probably give some leads.

***
I used to have this. Now I do not. Why? One thing that helped was being out of money for a while. It helped me to lose interest in shopping. It helped me to take a break, get some distance from it, and to develop new habits that displaced the old ones.

Another thing that helped was seeing more clearly and fully the futility or meaninglessness of it. It isn't really that great -- either the searching or the shopping, or the getting and possessing. These things are misrepresented (especially in certain cultures) as being better than they really are. A lot of people profit from persuading others to do these things, and to consumeconsumeconsume.

Another thing was appreciating another approach: some people make it a point to have uncluttered lives. They have one very good, versatile bike, and that's enough.

Another thing that helped was getting over the idea that older items (that are (1) hard to find, (2) superior, and/or (3) never to be available again) are not *really* as precious as some mindsets (and sellers) make them out to be.

Another thing was becoming much more wary of (various forms of) sales pitches. People are trying to sell you things left and right. If you get hooked and reeled in, you can spend a lot of your time and life (and many people do) shopping and buying and working and earning and storing and all the rest of it.

Another thing was listening to some very thoughtful people talk about simplicity, and simplifying your life.

Another was doubting and seeing through the claim that these things will really do anything for you, or make you happy in any real way.

Things are misrepresented (or we allow them to be) (--or we buy into the seeing of them) as being worth something, when they are not actually valuable at all. The paradise of the collector is not such a paradise after all.

One can let all these things be stored in stores, warehouses, garages, etc., and buy at the point of need.

Simple, reliable, quality gear is always available. It can be found when you need it; you don't have to stock up.

And one other thing I got over: thinking that it is smart to buy a bargain just because it is a bargain. Not so smart really. One can pay a few dollars more and buy something when and if it is really needed.

It is amazing how little one really needs.

I also started to see *freedom from encumbrances* as a more aesthetic and attractive way to live.
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Old 09-11-07, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mulchie View Post
(Hmmm Show us your lights, Chris L. Inquiring minds want to know!)
Ironically I don't have it right now, as it was damaged on my tour of Scotland, it should be back in the next couple of days. Of course, the repair isn't costing me anything -- I find that's another benefit of spending the money on quality products, if something does go wrong, it's usually replaced without any problems. Basically I'm running a Schmidt hub dynamo with a switched E6 headlight. The beam it puts out is comparable to a car headlight on high beam (it's actually been mistaken for that by people who have seen it in action), and being powered by a generator I don't have to worry about batteries. I can and have ridden literally all night with it.
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Old 09-11-07, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post

***
I used to have this. Now I do not. Why? One thing that helped was being out of money for a while. It helped me to lose interest in shopping. It helped me to take a break, get some distance from it, and to develop new habits that displaced the old ones.

Another thing that helped was seeing more clearly and fully the futility or meaninglessness of it. It isn't really that great -- either the searching or the shopping, or the getting and possessing. These things are misrepresented (especially in certain cultures) as being better than they really are. A lot of people profit from persuading others to do these things, and to consumeconsumeconsume.

Another thing was appreciating another approach: some people make it a point to have uncluttered lives. They have one very good, versatile bike, and that's enough.
For me this is what it all comes back to -- finding the quality products that serve my needs and distinguishing them from those that do not. On the other hand, sometimes I find redundancy to be a good thing. I don't own a car -- cycling is virtually my only means of transport (apart from walking, which isn't practical for trips exceeding 5km). This is where redundancy becomes useful. Having a second bike to use if there's a problem with my main ride, having a back-up headlight if I sever a wire in my main light etc etc. This is about practicality rather than any desire to consume for the sake of it.

Interestingly, the concept of redundancy, the idea of having something to use as a "reserve" if your primary equipment isn't working, is not something I've ever seen advertised as a selling point. I would have thought there was a potential "niche" market here for a lot of the lower end products on the market, but nobody seems to have taken advantage of it. Yet, if you ask any experienced cyclist about the idea of redundancy, a lot of them swear by it for practical reasons. That alone says that it's something worth pursuing. It's often a fine balance between practicality and over-spending in this area, and having experienced both ends of the scale, the key is in finding the correct balance. It sounds like a no-brainer, but it's surprising just how many people see this issue in black and white terms only.

It's easy to fall into the desire to "consume" because it comes back to one of our oldest instincts. When the human race were living in caves as hunter-gatherers, the ability to obtain food and whatever was not only seen as a sign of success, it was also about basic survival. Times have changed since then, but a lot of advertisers still try to exploit this instinct. The key is to try to see it for what it is, but that may be easier said than done. I was lucky that I came from a background where there were a lot of things that I couldn't afford.
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Old 09-11-07, 02:22 PM
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ditto what j-lip said.
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Old 09-11-07, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
Riding is one thing, collecting and hoarding and shopping (for bargains or special finds, or whatever it is that you don't really need, and may never really use) -- those are another matter.

They are a disease.

They eat into your life and your time (which is all we have, in a way), and attention.

Get some help, or some kind of overriding counterview or insight or approach.

There are probably discussion groups online, perhaps some Yahoo groups, for this kind of addiction. There may be some twelve-step programs available as well (online and also in-person meetings).

Googling "shopping addiction, groups, online," "collecting, bargain hunting," etc. will probably give some leads.

***
I used to have this. Now I do not. Why? One thing that helped was being out of money for a while. It helped me to lose interest in shopping. It helped me to take a break, get some distance from it, and to develop new habits that displaced the old ones.

Another thing that helped was seeing more clearly and fully the futility or meaninglessness of it. It isn't really that great -- either the searching or the shopping, or the getting and possessing. These things are misrepresented (especially in certain cultures) as being better than they really are. A lot of people profit from persuading others to do these things, and to consumeconsumeconsume.

Another thing was appreciating another approach: some people make it a point to have uncluttered lives. They have one very good, versatile bike, and that's enough.

Another thing that helped was getting over the idea that older items (that are (1) hard to find, (2) superior, and/or (3) never to be available again) are not *really* as precious as some mindsets (and sellers) make them out to be.

Another thing was becoming much more wary of (various forms of) sales pitches. People are trying to sell you things left and right. If you get hooked and reeled in, you can spend a lot of your time and life (and many people do) shopping and buying and working and earning and storing and all the rest of it.

Another thing was listening to some very thoughtful people talk about simplicity, and simplifying your life.

Another was doubting and seeing through the claim that these things will really do anything for you, or make you happy in any real way.

Things are misrepresented (or we allow them to be) (--or we buy into the seeing of them) as being worth something, when they are not actually valuable at all. The paradise of the collector is not such a paradise after all.

One can let all these things be stored in stores, warehouses, garages, etc., and buy at the point of need.

Simple, reliable, quality gear is always available. It can be found when you need it; you don't have to stock up.

And one other thing I got over: thinking that it is smart to buy a bargain just because it is a bargain. Not so smart really. One can pay a few dollars more and buy something when and if it is really needed.

It is amazing how little one really needs.

I also started to see *freedom from encumbrances* as a more aesthetic and attractive way to live.
All very true, but it's really important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I had a relapse recently with this illness I live with and after a while I started to realise that I was in an overhoarding mode of behaviour almost as if I was trying to make myself feel more secure and/or trying to cheer myself up. Once I understood what was going on I was able to wind my collecting urge back until I was only obtaining parts for bikes of mine I was actually working on and restoring.
Mind you the best thing I ever did was get rid of all my credit cards, store cards etc etc and only operate on a totally cash basis. I also never buy anything new if I can find it second hand or for free at the rubbish tip or curbside collection.
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Old 09-11-07, 05:41 PM
  #19  
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The only thing I hoard is parts that I know I am going to have problems getting in the future. Planned obsolescence sucks! I have more than one bike with a freewheel. One of them is actually a 5 speed freewheel! I have spare parts to keep that bike running for the next 20 years. Another thing that I buy when I can are Sturmey Archers hubs (and usually the bikes attached to them) Raleigh quit building decent 3 speeds in the late 80's? Those bikes are indestructible if properly cared for, however if one gets stolen it is darned near irreplaceable. I also have different bikes for different purposes...14 of them

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