I bought a set of rotors. Center lock, if you must know. 160mm. This isn’t a story about rotors.
The shop guy said, “Do you need lock rings for those?” This isn’t really a story about lockrings either.
Oh, man. That’s a tough question. I did that thing you do, calling up my most acute visual memories of my parts bin, sorting through the image there for lockrings. Is that a lockring? Well, it’s a round object. In fact, it’s a small pile of round objects. This must be the area I assigned to things that are round but aren’t cassettes, cogs or rims. Just what all the round things are that live in this area, I’m hard pressed to say, at least from memory.
I buy a pair of lockrings, because I trust myself not to have what I need more than I trust myself to be well-organized and/or equipped. When I get home, I toss the new lockrings on the counter in the area assigned to objects that need to go down the basement stairs. There they sit for three days. On the third day I remember that I meant to put rotors on my new wheels, using the lockrings that are there on the counter by the basement door.
Down the stairs we go. In my impatience to complete the task, I begin to open the new lockring packaging, but it includes zip ties, so I am temporarily stymied. I go to the toolbox to get the thing to cut the zip ties, and there, next to the snippy thing is a lockring. Here, if you can imagine, I experienced a rippling of space and time (spacetime really), that took me back to the moment in the bike shop when I was trying to envision the interior environs of my parts bin.
This is a good moment for an aside. If there were one thing I could change about myself it would be to make myself more patient, more methodical. I’d slow the F down and think a bit more before I do things. The rippling of spacetime I experienced there, staring down at the lockring next to the snippy tool, reminded me that this was a thing I want for myself.
I picked up the old lockring and put down the new one. Then I went to my parts bin and opened the drawer vaguely assigned to stuff that isn’t obviously a component. Thereupon my eyes discovered two more lockrings. Then I took out the box that has even more random nonsense in it and opened that, and there I discovered three lockrings.
I know, it seems like this is all about lockrings, but bear with me.
OK, so I bought two new lockrings when I already possessed six lockrings. What have we learned? First, that I am not very well-organized and not very aware of the things that I own. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the privilege of that. Most of the time, actually, I don’t need any bike parts, because I have bike parts. But am I really so clueless that I didn’t know I owned six lockrings already?
The answer is yes and no, and this where the story stops being about lockrings and starts being about what we do with the stuff we have. As it turns out, a big reason I don’t know what I have anymore is that I have given away a lot of stuff. This is not altruism. This is an attempt to reclaim my life from the stuff that I was spending too much time collecting and sorting. I have become a reverse hoarder.
As I stood in the bike shop wondering if I need lockrings or not, I couldn’t remember whether I’d given away some wheels and if so, what lockrings had gone on those. Did I give away cassette lockrings or rotor ones? Both?
I used two rotor lockrings from my stash and preserved the packaging of the two new ones I’d bought which I put in my car to return to the bike shop when I’m there next, fully intending to request no refund, but rather to just give them back, maybe even to leave them surreptitiously on the counter and walk away. When I think about it, you should never have to buy lockrings. You should just get them, so I’ll try to live in the solution to that problem, rather than making it worse.
For some reason now, this week’s TCI Friday asks whether you’re a giver or a taker of bike parts? A hoarder or a purger? What is the biggest, best, nicest bike thing you’ve given away? Finally, what do you have that you forgot you have? Oh, and how many lockrings would you say you own, without looking?
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