Selling A Bike.
I’ve owned more bikes in my life than I can remember. Literally. That’s not just a saying. I really don’t remember all the bikes I’ve had. I tried to put together a list after I saw that thread on Vital and it couldn’t be done. A lot of those bikes were terrible and a lot of them have served dutifully. I only really miss a handful of them.
Sometimes you sell a bike and it’s been such a headache and a pile of garbage that you are just thrilled to see it go. You find the right sucker and then take a fat, steamy crap on their face by selling them a curse that would have been a rip off at any price. The kind of peckers that buy these bikes are usually the flash in the pan riders who won’t be around next year and are looking for what’s trendy now. There’s no shame felt in ripping these chumps off.
Sometimes you sell one and it’s a great bike, and you are hooking up a friend or mutual acquaintance with a good ride at a reasonable price. They know you took relatively good care of it and they get to ditch their clapper for something better. This has been the vast majority of my personal bike sales experience. Everyone’s back gets scratched and the economy churns away.
But then sometimes you sell a bike and you watch it rolling away in the back of some stranger’s pick up or on some unknown roof rack and your stupid guts get all full of feelings. What is this sentiment? Bikes are tools, what do I care about them? I’ve got a newer and better one a few feet away! Why am I feeling wistful about a bike that I have ridden hard, put away dirty, smashed into piles of rocks, thrown into the dirt, crushed into case points, ridden through the grinding mud, and treated (respectfully) as hard as I possibly could?
Maybe it’s because sometimes you end up on a rare bike that rose above your expectations, served its purpose perfectly, and took you places you would have otherwise never known existed. Maybe it’s been your constant companion for thousands of miles of adventure, outlasting a rotating cast of components and trends. Maybe it’s been there waiting for you to recover from injuries, and times when you were too busy with work or other life junk to sneak in a ride. Maybe it’s been there for the daylight savings time switches, and the change of the seasons from snow melt, sunbaked heat, falling leaves, unpredictable ice, and back to snowmelt- several times. Maybe it’s the one bike that you had no obligations to sponsorships to replace. Maybe it’s the bike that has outlasted most of your relationships in life, professional, friendly, and romantic. Maybe it’s been the one thing you had to look forward to at times.
Mostly a bike is just a bike. It’s a medium for fitness. It’s a tool for some professionals. And if you swapped out this bike for that bike or this model year for that one, the only real change in your story would be the colors and bold new graphics. But sometimes it’s more than just a bike, and you’re sad to see it go. But you know what? That bike did a lot for you. And now it has a chance to do a lot for someone else. It has a second life that starts when some weirdo from craigslist shows up and whisks your old bike off to become their new bike.
Capable bikes are everywhere these days. Good bikes are still uncommon. But a Great Bike doesn’t come along often so if you have one of those in your collection, enjoy it.