Of all the makes and models of bike on the market today, perhaps no bike is as intriguing as one bike, one nearly unobtainable two-wheeled dream, a bike both within reach and yet off limits, a bike you really should have gotten to first, your friend’s bike.
Oh, how it shines. So fast, too. What’s it even made of? Envium.
The showrooming of that bike, just there, off your front wheel as you pant and splutter, trying to get close enough to properly drool on it, seems cruel. Did someone get a promotion they failed to mention? What financial lightning bolt from heaven allowed your friend to acquire this bike of shimmering beauty and undeniable charm. Also, when did your friend develop good taste? So many questions.
Look, stop thinking about it. I know. You can’t.
You also can’t get that bike in that color, because that would be JUST TOO MUCH, a tacit admission that your friend is more clever, more discerning than you can ever let on. Even now, I know you’re doing the emotional math. If you get that bike, in a different color, is that too humiliating? But then actually, if you’re gonna go that far, why not just get the same color, because let’s be honest, the color is a big part of the appeal?
Wait a minute. Wait a minute. If the color is a big part of the appeal (and ok, what a great color!), then this is a style over substance issue. The bike isn’t really that great. It just looks that great. Right?
The thing is, I’ve ridden that bike, and unfortunately it’s the best. It’s worth it. It has that je ne sais quoi, that actually we’re pretty able to put our finger on. It belongs to your friend.
That bike has a stance like a vintage Corvette. It seethes with speed, with ill intent. You look at it and feel that sudden sense of being off the back, as though you just bonked and need a FGC just to make it home.
The components are one level up from whatever it is you think you can/should afford. Really, your marriage is in danger just for thinking about a bike with those parts. And the wheels….
The wheels are insult to injury. In a good year, maybe with a bonus check fresh in the bank, you’d consider those wheels, but the bike and the wheels together? With the components? Come on.
Sit down for a sec. Take this paper bag. Put it over your nose and mouth. Now breathe deeply. In. Out. That’s right. Feel the blood returning to your head. Let’s talk rationally about this for a minute.
Money can’t buy you love, and it also can’t get you that bike, both because you don’t have the dough, and also because you don’t need it. Spending yours way too fast (and/or good looking) isn’t your way. Your friend has no business on that bike, and neither do you. S/he only looks silly pedaling around on that thing. It belongs, if we’re honest, in a magazine, in two-dimensions, where it can’t hurt anybody.
And you know, as the rider-who-shall-not-be-named once said, “it’s not about the bike.” This is really about two relationships, the one between you and your friend, and the one between you and your own bike. Friends stay friends by respecting each other’s choices. Your friend decided to gazump you by acquiring what will likely be voted Bike of the Century. You need to respect his/her good fortune and play the part of Igor in this particular Frankenstein drama.
As for your own bike, recall that you were once in love, and that though time may have muted your ardor, loyalty and shared history are worth more (not really) than just looking good and being faster than everyone else. If you’re honest with yourself, the bike you ride now is probably nicer than you deserve.