So one of the (hundreds) of things I love about bike people is this: In any ordinary room you say “I think I’m going to go bike shopping…” and nothing much happens. Someone looks up from their keyboard briefly, a particularly bright spark may say “Whatcha gunna get, a Harley?” (Guffaw guffaw) but that’s it.
In a room full of bike people, it’s like chucking a grenade into a trout lake. Pull the pin, then sit down, open a beer, and wait for it to start raining bike links
It’s because we all want everything. There is, as gizzo said earlier, too much choice. Too many awesome, yummy, sexy, delicious, powerful, exciting two wheeled lovelies out there for us to be even remotely satisfied without doing some window shopping once in a while. Quite often. Or every time there’s one within eyesight.
I mean, there’s the bike we want because its practical. Then there’s the bike we want because it’s the Elle McPherson or Travis Fimmel (pre Vikings) of the bike world. (Looks incredible, performs immaculately, likes a good polish on the weekend.) Then there’s the bike we want because it makes us smile a little mischievous smile and think about how many of the things we’re not supposed to do that we can probably try and maybe even get away with together. And then there’s the bike that we really can’t ever imagine we could ever, ever have done enough good things in life to be granted.
Actually, now I listen to myself saying this, I guess they kind of are like lovers. Ha.
When it comes to bikes, we all have a wandering eye. Difference is, with bikes, it’s perfectly acceptable to have as many as you can afford to play with.
So while having a wicked time with my wonderful mentor yesterday afternoon, and getting all my confidence back, I got the green light to go shopping (I don’t mean I needed permission. I just mean a voice in agreement with the voice in my head which I am never sure is entirely sane and so prefer to seek a second opinion) And yes, there is TOO much choice. Because there are so many potential deciding factors that I haven’t, well, decided on yet.
What I do know is that this is second bike. Second bike is a two-year bike. Second bike is a ‘have heaps of fun’, put on plenty of spontaneous Ks, laugh a LOT and probably fall off once or twice on some iffy dirtroad that was tarmac once and I shouldn’t really have still been on but wtf and hehehe bike. Second bike is not the love of my life. Second bike won’t get me standing at end of an aisle promising eternity. Second bike is not going to have my babies. Second bike and I aren’t going to shop for furniture together. But we are going to have one HELL of a good time, and when we part – if we ever fully do – it will be with a smile, and a wink, and a little final twist of the wrist.
I don’t give a monkeys if second bike is cool to t-shirt wearing 24 year old hoon racers on a forecourt or not. I couldn’t care less what second bike’s top speed is, or how fast it can 0-60 (as long as it’s longer than my current…..three….and….a…………...half……minutes……) or what exhaust it has or how many bits of it are carbon fibre. You know why? Because there’s every chance that, when I’m experimenting with what we can and can’t do I might be going to break them anyway. Not at high speed taking a twisty, but at really slow speed trying to avoid a really pee’d off wombat. Or snap one off as I dig around under something trying to get to the whatsit because the thingo cable is busted (and believe me, if anyone can accidentally snap a carbon fibre part off a bike while innocently going “hey, what does this do?” it’s me.)
But of course, I want second bike to make me look at her and go “Holy shit, honey, we’re kinda da bomb right now… where shall we go?”
And I want her to be a bit unique. Because we’re not the cookie cutter type, me and her.
And I want her to have a bigger front tyre than I have now, because I frequently look down and think “Seriously, we may as well be on ice skates right now.”
And I want her to turn on a pin. And take off a little bit like a rocket. Just a little bit
What I don’t know are things like:
How am I paying for her and when? Because if I want to I can go right out and get very comfortable finance on something around $6k from a showroom. Not a moment’s hesitation. 2 year terms, bang, done. New bike come at me.
But what am I buying? The too-heavy newish 180-190 kilo 300s or 400s that I like? See, there the likelihood of dropping rises, and although I don’t really have any intention to sell this next bike on (unless I make a mistake in the purchase, which I plan on trying quite hard to avoid) I am more reluctant to do that with a 6K treat. And also it may not just be while negotiating a ford in Deep Creek – it could be negotiating a Ford on the Southern Expressway.
(Pre-emptive strike here: DON’T tell me Valvoline has the perfect lightweight bike for what I need! I wish I could bear to look at one, I do, I hear you all. But I dated an ugly man once. That should be enough.)
( Sorry V, personal taste all the way Besides, this isn’t a remake of Single White Female. Lol.)
So then there’s the other option. And it is making my eyes spark quite a lot...
I go buy something original, late 70s early 80s. I go play on some to see what weight and power I like best, and I choose one that is mechanically sound, that makes me smile when I look at it, and makes me grin when I do my first circuit of the car park. And then I make it my own. Café it up a bit – but only a bit. Not so much it should be on a dais. Just enough that it says “Claire” but nobody will cry if it gets bird poo on it or falls over in some mud. Some beautiful roughness. Let’s call it tousled. Lol. Colour her in whatever colour I like (and then buy a new lid to go with it, because I am very unlikely to go with orange unless I buy the Bennelli) and get to grips with what makes her suck push bang blow, maybe add a few owl stickers and Nirvana lyrics…. Oh, hang on, not a school History book. Sorry. Anyway, you get my drift.
Brilliant idea. Absolutely cannot see any reason why I haven’t decided. That sounds like a plan!
Dammit, to do that I have to wait.
Because If I’m going to buy something, paint it in candy stripes and polka dots and ride it into the ground (quite literally) then I’m not spending 6k in a showroom. I’ll be buying off Gumtree with Uncle Eric along to look her over for me. And Gumtree don’t offer finance. So I will have to save up, which (with the traffic fines and a family emergency to cover off on right now) I can’t start til the end of October. Which means it will be New Years before I can go get one. (And nobody sells their bike in the middle of summer. Even their old 350 which they haven’t ridden for 9 months and the wife hates, looks appealing in December) And wait??!! Gah! I’m not a waity kind of girl. I try but it makes me pout. And whine, just a bit. And scowl ever so slightly. And stamp my foot.
It also hasn’t escaped me that if that’s the route I choose I had better be pretty sure that I don’t want any more clothes, furniture, perfume, or nice, pretty things, because the bike will need. And want. And need… and scratch at the door at night whispering “…those mirrors you sawwwwwwww…” and there will be my disposable income, down the pan.
Oh it’s such a dilemma. Immediate versus delayed gratification.
Yep, bikes are easily as bad as lovers.
First world problems. I am so lucky to have no worse.
The ascent of bike... maybe.