Have been looking at new bikes. I don’t need one. And frankly, finding one I’d want at the moment is not that easy.

My son and I have been cycling more of late. He is on a bigger bike now and is far more capable so that opens up many new possibilities.

I bought my bike secondhand some years ago. It’s a mish-mash of components, some good, some not so good. The previous owner used it as a kind of mobile graveyard for components no longer needed when upgrading his other bikes. A mongrel bike of indeterminate provenance.

But it’s fine. I actually like it.

I was recently listening to a podcast that touched on consumerism amongst other things. The challenge was posed to ask yourself this question when considering making a purchase ; what problem does this solve?

This got me thinking. We have had lots of discussions as a family over the past year or so about waste, plastic, recycling and the environment. Along with many others, it has made us think more about how we spend our money and the impact on the world that can have.

So, back to the question; what problem would a new bike solve?

Erm, well, it would have a more up to date frame and geometry. Better shocks. Better brakes.

Yes, but what problem would that solve?

It would go better…?

What? What does that mean? My existing bike ‘goes’ just fine.

Face it, my bike does the job. Does it pretty well in fact. Ok, it could benefit from better brakes. And yes, it does have a problem changing up from one particular gear. But surely that doesn’t justify a new bike.

And to flip the earlier question on it’s head; what problem would buying a new bike create? I would need to sell my current one or it would just sit around taking up space.

So, I’ve talked myself out of buying a new one. Which is ok. It makes me feel more invested in the one I have - I want to spend time keeping it maintained and in good order.

I will index the gears and see if I can sort the problem out with the gear change. I will keep it oiled and such on a more regular basis.

I will see if I can improve the action of the brakes. No, hang on a minute - I’ve tried that before. And it didn’t work. They really aren’t that great. Be honest. A set of new brakes is no where near the cost of a new bike. Wouldn’t that be a happy compromise?

I could live with that.

Stephen James

Minding the gaps

© Stephen James 2021

Powered by Hugo & Kiss.