I’m sure many fellow cyclists can relate.
1. Avoid maintenance, until the brakes barely work
I was having a chat with a friend of mine recently who runs a bike shop in London. Someone came in to the shop with £200 worth of repairs to their bike that needed doing. They decided they would leave it until after Christmas and rode the bike home.
If you went to visit a car mechanic and you were told that something on the engine needed fixing, you’d book it in there and then. You wouldn’t say: “Oh, just one of my brakes works and one of the wheels is falling off, I’ll sort that out later”.
Obviously, it’s different for car owners. If a car doesn’t pass its MOT, it can’t be driven on the road.
I believe it’s a testament to the low-maintenance magic of bikes, that even with a bike that clearly needs some attention from a mechanic, you can keep riding it.
You’ll notice this all the time riding in London. A squeaky bike will pull up next to you at the light or someone’s chain will slip as they try to pedal when the light turns green. I’ve done it myself. I won’t adjust my brakes even though I’m pulling the brake level all the way back. In fact, right now I need to replace my front tyre as it’s clearly worn out and I keep getting punctures. Oh.. I’ll leave it.
2. Lock it to a lamppost
I added number 2 in here, because I like the image of a car owner trying to lock their car to lamppost.
3. Never get someone’s details in an accident
In a car, someone bumps you in the car park and you immediately ask for their insurance details.
On a bike, someone comes out of a side road, doesn’t see you, slams in to you with their bumper and you go flying over your handlebars.
You brush yourself off, apologise and ride home, only realising when the adrenaline wears down how serious that is.
Why don’t we instantly ask for insurance details?
4. It’s 20 years old, I’ll keep riding it
I love this about many bike owners. Many of us see no need to upgrade, the older our bike is, the more we love it and inseparable we get from it. When a car hits 10 years old, it’s time for a replacement.
5. We never clean our bikes
Whilst I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there that never clean their cars, much like there are plenty of people out there that regularly wash their bike, the vast majority of us don’t bother keeping our bikes clean. You know it’s getting bad when you look at a bike component and can no longer identify it – is that the rear derailleur?