Author Topic: It's about the bike. It's about you.  (Read 3181 times)

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Offline Westinghouse

It's about the bike. It's about you.
« on: December 09, 2019, 02:06:59 pm »
When does your bicycle become something more for you than simply--a bicycle? The long distance touring cyclist comes to harmonize with some affinity to his bike. And why is this? Does anyone know why? Do bikes go somewhere after they die? Will we meet them again in a future life? When a woman cries and prays and laments at her  memory of a long-lost bicycle, what are we to bring away from it as a lesson to be learned?

Offline canalligators

Re: It's about the bike. It's about you.
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2019, 04:18:50 pm »
It happened to me the first time I rode more than a mile or two.  The realization that I could go places on this bike.  I felt attached to this wonderful machine.

I was 14, it was a Schwinn Typhoon single speed balloon tired bike.  I ended up riding 26 miles that day.

Offline staehpj1

Re: It's about the bike. It's about you.
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2019, 06:28:54 am »
I always loved to ride and liked my bikes, but they were all just bikes.  Then after many years of riding I developed a special affinity for one of my bikes.  I am not sure why that particular one did it and others didn't, but it did.  It is kind of out dated now, but I still can't walk past it without putting a hand on it.  I have a different feeling when I ride it than when I ride my other bikes.

I crashed it hard, I took an ambulance ride, and it was damaged badly enough that I'd have gotten rid of it if it was any other bike, but I fixed it up and rode it across the country despite the fact that it is obviously a race bike.  It sufficed well enough with a minimal load of ultralight backpacking gear.  It is currently on loan to my daughter and she has commuted on it for a couple years, but it is about to come home to me again.  I plan to do another tour on it in the spring.

If either the bike or my body are ever unfit enough that I can't ride it any more I'll probably hang it proudly on the wall and keep it even after all the other bikes are gone.

Offline froze

Re: It's about the bike. It's about you.
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2019, 09:06:07 pm »
For me the bike was an escape from my parents, if offered me freedom, I go where I wanted to go...well at least as far as a kid could go, to see things at a slower pace than zooming by in a car, so for me a bike is more than just a bike or a tool.  ,

While I have a favorite bike, and that bike right now is my 2013 Lynskey Peloton, before I bought it my favorite was a 84 Trek 660, before that it was the 68 Schwinn Speedster that I had as a kid; but when I really look at all the bikes I had in the past or have currently I like them all because they all represent the same thing they did when I was kid.

The bikes I mentioned are not touring bikes, I had a touring bike but crashed it 4 months ago when a car side swiped me and I bent the fork on it but fortunately nothing got bent on me. So I have to save some money and buy another one before I can resume the short touring stuff I was doing.  Touring simply represents to me the same freedom thing I've always had with bikes, it will represent a further extension of that idea.

Offline BikePacker

Re: It's about the bike. It's about you.
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2019, 08:37:09 am »
When does your bicycle become something more for you than simply--a bicycle?
Here is when the above happened for me ~
Was around the age of about 'a dozen,' on a cruiser type ....  brand name Road Master. 
Recall riding along and having 'the wonder emerge,'  .....
what is to keep me from riding a bicycle coast to coast?

Offline David W Pratt

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Re: It's about the bike. It's about you.
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2019, 08:37:33 pm »
Definitely, I feel the bike is special.  Not only for its potential, but for our shared adventures and its dependability.  Further, for at least one of my bikes, its provenance and heritage are a tangible link to people who helped make the culture of bike touring.  It is a Bruce Gordon, and I spoke to him shortly before his death

Offline Westinghouse

Re: It's about the bike. It's about you.
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2019, 12:21:17 pm »
More than 300 million people in China have the bicycle as their main transportation. They were raised using the bike for most all transportation. It was all around them. Could they have affections with their bikes? I know I did not like my first planned touring bike. I didn't know much. I got it cheap in Wall Mart. After somebody asked me, "You're going to tour the UK on THAT bike?," I got wise and got the books. I sold the one. An Italian man in Jupiter, Florida sold me a Schwinn Le Tour. It worked just fine. That was 1984. The frame is visible from where I sit here on this sofa. I remember when I was 10 I thought of bicycling back out west in the US. I used to think of it and visualize it and imagine it to success in my mind. It was only a dream. No bike, no money, no freedom.

Offline EmilyG

Re: It's about the bike. It's about you.
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2020, 07:21:38 pm »
My first real bike: a Bridgestone, blue, road bike I got when I turned 15.  It represented freedom, the ability to chart my own course, and strength.  My current bike is tied to that Bridgestone, because it was at 15, doing my daily loop ride out and back to Patrick's Point and riding alongside any touring cyclists I met, that my dream of touring was born.  My current bike is also a Bruce Gordon, one the the last he made.  It truly is a dream machine, and after thousands of miles touring, now when I ride it, it's like going home--it fits perfectly, it is so balanced, and it just about runs on thoughts.  But it's not my daily commuter bike, so I'm not riding it right now.  Writing this makes me long to ride it, but I don't want to expose it to the risk of crashing nor the wear and tear of rainy, gritty roads.   It is irreplaceable, and if I'm going to wreck it, it ought to be on tour, not coming back from work!

Offline misterflask

Re: It's about the bike. It's about you.
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2020, 07:07:15 am »
Halfway through a TA tour a rear dropout cracked outside Pueblo on the Bianchi cross bike I was riding.  I actually cried.  The Surly LHT replacement frame is serviceable but I've never developed the same attachment.  Fortunately, the Bianchi frame has since been repaired and sees weekly use as a gravel bike and commuter.

Like earlier poster, I've never gotten over the sense of freedom I got when I was 15 and bought my first 'ten-speed'.

Offline Smudgy

Re: It's about the bike. It's about you.
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2020, 08:43:16 pm »
I solo tour as well and so I have a lot of time to think. I sometimes marvel at my bike while riding. What an elegant machine, simple yet so well designed. Just chunks of metal welded together but converting power into motion allowing me to travel under my own power to just about anywhere. The bicycle has to be one of the coolest machines ever invented!