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Bikexchange.com Column #4

Bike Bonding
By Gianna Bellofatto

"Cyclist divorces his bicycle!" Wouldn’t that be an interesting headline? It appeared in the back of a little circulated magazine not too long ago. Apparently the cyclist impulsively purchased a new bike, claimed he couldn’t bonded with it and now wanted out. I was so intrigued by the story that I called the editor to see if I could speak to the cyclist. He declined to speak with me. So, what I present is my personal proof positive of the phenomena of bike-bonding.

Much has been written about the significance of bonding. You hear about the special bonding among fathers and sons, and likewise between mothers and daughters. But little if anything has been written about bike-bonding. I searched the Internet, then called some serious cyclists for their input. Some of them suggested I call a bike shop and ask them what they thought. Eventually I realized I would have to be the pioneer in the psychology of bike-bonding.

I recall the process of bonding with my bike. It’s similar to a love affair. As soon as I laid eyes on my bike, I knew it had everything I wanted. It was sleek, strong and responsive. We were a match. I sat with the bike and admired it for hours. First thing in the morning I took it for a spin. As soon as I got home from work I would take it out again. I spent most of my free time with the bike. First, it was just weekends and holidays. Now hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about my bike. But I knew I had gone over the handlebars when I had my first "out of bike" experience.

There I was cranking home on the return trip of a 30-mile ride when some strange rumblings began. At first I thought a filling in one of my teeth had picked-up a radio signal. Then, I realized the noise was coming from my bicycle.

"You never take me any place special anymore. It’s always the same route." I heard.

"What are you talking about? Just last week I took you to Piermont, NY." Who said that?

"But we didn’t stop to get anything to eat. Noooo, it was just a quick spin and back home." Again the bike noise spoke.

"And what about how I was left stranded with two flats on one ride?" I retorted. We continued in silence for another mile when I decided to mend fences.

"Well, I just got the Vermont Cycling Tours brochure," I cooed. " I’m planning a special vacation just for the two of us."

Those were the magic words. Immediately my bike settled down and couldn’t do enough for me. We climbed hills effortlessly. Coasted smoothly. Whizzed passed a traffic snarl in no time, and we still had energy to keep on rolling. What a bike!

Sure my bike and I are bonded. But it wasn’t always a downhill coast. Even the best of bikes can become temperamental. Our anniversary date is rapidly approaching. What do you get a bike for an anniversary gift? Maybe I’ll search the Internet, call some bike shops, talk to seasoned cyclists, here we go again…Life is a Bike and you got to love yours.

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