I freed my bike from captivity today. The bike technician pirates at Cyclesmith released it to me after a week and a day. I had messed up my derailleur (that's french for "expensive, complicated, shifter-thingy) to the point where it would not hit 1st, 8th, or 15th gear. I could have lived with that reality, but knowing there would come a hill that required 8th and only 8th gear, I had to have it fixed. For sanity sake, you see. Because I'm nuts that way.
I paid my $17.33 and was again the proud owner of a 14 year old Trek. Now, rumor has it that my wife, bless her heart, was actually planning on getting me a new bike for Father's Day. While I was originally overwhelmed and excited about the prospect, having my old bike back suddenly changed all that.
I took it out for a test ride after I got it back tonight and was happy as a clam. "Why in the world would I need a new bike?" This one rides fine. I'm used to the riding position and know how it handles like I know my own kids. I've been through some nasty off-road falls on it. Once over-the-handlebars in front of my house. (It was like slow motion. I would have LOVED to see myself from an out-of-body perspective) Changed countless flats. 3 or 4 sets of tires. New rear wheel; new cabling all around a few years back.
It's a bit like an old car that you bought new. You know exactly what you've done to it, as well in what ways you've neglected it. (Cmon we all do it). You know the creaks and groans. You, or more likely your kids, made every bad stain on the upholstery. But you love her. You cherish her like a big steel and plastic pet. The sheer thought of turning her in for something better seems not only absurd, but disloyal and snakey.
All of these thoughts are going through my mind during my mind today. Not to mention that the world is in the economic dust bin and what gall I have for thinking that now would be a good time to make a $600 bike purchase. Tsk, Tsk. Stupid boy.
Then I turn around to head home and shift into a lower gear. Or should I say, attempted to shift. Turned the shifter, but the chain didn't move. My next thought, I kid you not was:
"Piece of crap, I need a new bike. What was I thinking?"
Needless to say, the jury is still out. I'll do battle with myself for the next 4 weeks until I tire so much of it that I either resolve to live with my current bike, or in a state of crazed, wreckless spending go out and stimulate China's economy and buy a new Trek 4500. Take a look and see if you don't drool a bit on yourself as well.
New, Improved, Much Nicer, Better, Gooder Bike:
The world spins on despite the minutiae of decisions like these.