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Bikexchange.com Column #13

A Bike Is a Bike
By
Gianna Bellofatto

Ms. Bellofatto is a freelance writer and avid cyclist who whose column, Life Is a Bike, appears regularly in The Bicycle Exchange

When is a bike not a bike? The answer is never. Unlike we humans, bicycles do not have to struggle with an identity. Bikes are born bikes. They look like bikes, they perform like them, and the funny thing—they are bikes. Because of the bike’s indisputable sameness it is a far more desirable companion than spouses, children, and pets. In fact, bikes might just be better than money, cars or a good book.

Bikes are a whole lot easier to have than pets. Bikes are house trained and mobile.

Bikes don’t bark or bite the neighbors. Bikes don’t require discipline and training school and won’t runaway. Nor will your bike chew the furniture.

Are they easier to have than children? You bet your sweet saddle they are. Bikes won’t answer you back, ask for an allowance, or demand that you send them to college. Bikes are generally off the streets after dark and tucked in for the night.

Yeah, but are they better than a car? Absolutely. Bikes can take you places distant and near. They unleash your imagination and set you free. They get you in and out of little spaces. They don’t require oil changes or gasoline. The bike has an automatic sunroof and panoramic views, and environmentally efficient.

What about spouses?  Bikes are loyal, trustworthy, and quiet. They don’t nag, get bossy, backseat drive, or have in-laws. When you’re with your bike it’s because you want to be with the bike.  You’re in control and bikes like it that way. 

Are bikes better than money? Much better. Once you own one, every ride is free. And there’s nothing on earth that is a free ride anymore. Bikes don’t dip with every financial downturn. You won’t lie awake at night “spinning your wheels” whether you have your bike in the best place.  Your bike will maximize your initial investment again and again whenever you take it out for a ride. But they do soar, however, and bring you to heights that even your broker may envy.

Okay, what about food?  Is a bike better than food? Food is the fuel you’ll need in order to ride your bike. Yet foods can spoil, some are fattening, and a single food can take on many different forms depending on how it is prepared. Your bike will never change. Few things in life can boast that.  You can’t eat a bike, and likewise you can’t ride a banana. Bikes never pack the pounds on you, on the contrary, spend time with your bike and you’ll loose weight.

Are bikes better than everything? Better than a good book? Better than sex? This is uncharted territory. A bike is not a bed. It’s not recommended having sex on a bicycle and reading should be limited to road signs. You shouldn’t sleep with your bicycle either, but reading the owner’s manual is encouraged. 

Bikes can’t replace the cuddles of a warm fuzzy puppy; the joy of holding a baby; wrapping your arms around the one you love; or the pleasure of your favorite meal. But bikes don’t pretend to be anything than what they are. They’re plain and simple: a ready to roll trusty metal steed.  Saddle up and ride it out. A bike is a bike, and sometimes, just sometimes, life is one too.

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