THRIFT, THREAT AND THEFT... PART ONE

By Steve Worland. I reluctantly accept that wool from the holes in my socks seems to end up in my be

By Steve Worland. I reluctantly accept that wool from the holes in my socks seems to end up in my be

I reluctantly accept that wool from the holes in my socks seems to end up in
my belly button. What baffles me is the journey between sock and belly
button. It's one of life's great mysteries.

Here's another one... where do old MTBs go? Why do you never see MTBs in
skips? Other sad and broken wheeled objects emerge from nowhere as soon as a
fresh skip arrives in the neighbourhood, but never even as much as a
skeletal hint of an MTB. The number of other bikes in skips has shrunk in
recent years too. Wierd.

I have a theory. It's based on my conviction (hope?) that bikes are being
increasingly loved and cherished. They tend not to turn up in skips for the
same reason as dogs and gerbils tend not to turn up in skips. I think people
bury their bikes in the back garden these days. Tiny titanium plaques with
TIG-etched RIP plaques mark the spot.

The theory is seductive. It's one to hang on to in doleful moments, but may
result in a false sense of security if you start to see your bike as
something that can be granted human notions like respect or dignity.

The reality of bike ownership has its roots set firmly in the societal
prisons of thrift, threat and theft... the three stages of ownership.

You scrimp and save until you have enough cash to buy your dream MTB. You
spend more on protection from the elements... and proper shoes... and
mitts... and a fashionably vented hard-hat for when clumsy stuff happens...
and a lock that's so heavy that you have to consider buying a trailer for
it... and some insurance that doesn't have exclusion clauses for your postal
district... and a house alarm. Is the hassle of owning something that
requires so much protection really worth it?

The answer is very obviously "Yes!" But perhaps it's worth taking this
'bikes as eminently desirable objects' thought-train a little further...

Next time, a sideways look at theft and its impact on bike ownership...

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