Parting can be the hardest of things. Saying goodbye to a person who means so much to you, be that the end of a relationship, a family member or perhaps a friend you haven’t see in ages, we can all find that moment of separation filled with anxiety, sadness and/or displeasure that our time together couldn’t continue. Now multiple that 100 times and you get close to selling a much loved bike.
I recently ventured to a well known online auction site to put my beloved Giant TCR Advanced 1 up for sale. To say I did it with a heavy heart would be an understatement. The same feelings of sadness and anxiety soared through me – was I doing the right thing? Will it go to a good home? Will I get what it’s worth? In response; yes I was definitely doing the right thing. I was getting a new bike and I need to make space. After all, the only thing that’s constant is change itself, and this was the right time.
I hoped with all my heart that the successful buyer would love the bike as much as I had, that he would care for it, admire it’s lines, take it on nights out to the cinema, and most importantly keep it for when it wasn’t raining. In reality however, I wouldn’t know this until he bought it and the post-sales communication got going. In terms of the amount, I set a price in my head and did some research. This research quickly proved that I had over-valued it and needed to rethink the right amount to ask for it. It turned out that the time I spent deep cleaning it and fitting new shifters and bar tape meant nothing in the savage world of second hand bike sales.
Then came the part I had been dreading, the listing itself. I took a gulp, and set to task giving a very thorough description and geometry. When I read back through it I was mildly chuffed with my work. “I should be writing these for other people”, I thought. My moment of pride was immediately stamped out by quickly establishing that there is no market in writing bike descriptions in the online action world. I clicked on the button to list the bike. It was done.
Then the watchers started appearing. They dribbled through at first, then they grew in a lump, and before I knew it I had nine watchers and what’s more, some questions. Would I recommend the standard chainrings that were currently on the bike or swapping to a compact for racing? Will I [the buyer] fit the bike? I was happy to answer them, a bit of me trying to suss out if they’d meet my criteria for owning the bike. Then…BANG! It was bought. I was going to have to part with my TCR.
The day of the collection came. I’d actually forgotten it was that day; perhaps my subconscious had “made” me forget, perhaps it was a load of things, who knows, but with an half-an-hour to spare before the deadline I gave the bike a quick wipe with a soft towel and looked at it one last time, before I sat down to build some Lego with my son.
The next thing I knew the doorbell went and “that man” was here to take it away from me. He seemed very nice; – courteous, polite, happy with what he had bought. The signs for a good home were looking good. He told me it’s going to be his race bike, so I know the bike will have some great adventures.
I guess that’s what it’s about really, the adventures and places our bikes take us, both literally and emotionally. Our bikes give us that freedom, that connection with our environment, with our childhood like nothing else can. You can stick whatever new fangled gismo you want on the bike, a power meter, a computer, carbon this and that, and whilst they’re all very nice indeed, they’re not why we love bikes. It’s much more human than that. So perhaps that’s why parting with your favourite bike can be so hard, it is the end of a relationship. Worry not though, I’ll be ok. Besides, my new bike is rather sexy anyway.