Dangerous Relationships

2013 - Granfondo delle Cinque Terre

Bicycles are like lovers, there are many different types and “classes”.

And rightly so, because you are about to get involved in a real, true, relationship, when you decide which will be the bicycle you pedal on for the upcoming seasons.
The range in quality and type is infinite. There many many different characters.

As with a woman, you can choose the one that will chase after you most enthusiastically, the one that will make you lose your mind, the one that will reassure you, the one that won’t make you feel uncomfortable and also, of course, the one that you think you can get, the one you think you’re worthy of.

If you’re not too sure of yourself, you will undoubtedly end up just making do. An average bike, traditional, not too extreme. Perhaps last year’s model found on offer in your local shop. Standard colours, nothing too outlandish. Low profile rims and not excessively aggressive. A conciliatory lover in other words; comfortable. One of those who doesn’t really cause any problems, who adapts to your needs and who never complains. Unlikely to cause arguments. They wait for you at home and you decide when to take them out. You do more or less what you want, never feeling great enthusiasm, but you don’t have any big hassles either. Whether you like it like that, or whether you’re just making do, is difficult to tell. The “quiet life” in the end is a choice that can’t be criticised and it definitely has its advantages from a certain perspective.

It’s another story if you choose a frame with a sloping top tube. You are ambitious and not lacking in character. The sloping frame is a more modern campanion, a direct descendant of the mountain bike universe. Inclining the top tube, the frame becomes more compact and more rigid. If you are not a giant, but have the determination of those little dogs that earn respect throught the gnashing of their teeth, the sloping frame should be yours. In the saddle it will make you feel less “swamped” between the wheels and it will give you room to express your true determination. Of course you need to have the physique to permit yourself one like that. Here you need boundless energy, otherwise the relationship will end only in frustration. Left at home alone for too long or going out just for short, simple trips, you’ll find you won’t worthy of this one. If you’re not ambitious, you don’t like to ride under stress with sudden spurts on the pedals, this is not the one for you. Find yourself something more comfortable. Here you need backbone…and a rather elastic and flexible one at that, otherwise you’ll soon find yourself with backache.

If you’ve chosen traditional geometry, then you’ve opted for the type of greatness that only comes from history. You don’t have anything to prove, because you’ve already done so. You know what you’re worth and the fact that the others know it too only interests you slightly. Fashion is of no interest to you. Your companion is different in terms of the base materials, in the mechanical characteristics of the tubing, in their subtle fineness. Details that make the difference, but go unnoticed by those without a refined eye. You can permit yourself one like this, because you don’t need to show off, it’s of a superior class, without being showy.

If instead you’re thinking of buying used? Goodness, this could be a problem. You certainly don’t mind taking a risk. Here too the choice is wide and everything depends on the clinical eye of the purchaser. You can find custom-built as well as just average profiles. You can get a great deal or get unforgettably burned. What makes the difference in these cases are the marks left by the previous partner. Cracks in the frame, repeated falls, rust on the gears, poor maintenance, these are scratches on the soul that are difficult to erase.

So, the relationship with your bike must be an honest one, like that with a partner. Put your cards on the table, and make the rules of the game and your objectives clear. Otherwise it will be a waste of time for both of you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *