Originally Posted - 2 Oct 2008
Dear ‘Ivor Query’
I have a bike. It’s just a bike, my bike, nothing special; I've had it for years. I've used it a bit but over the last 2 years I restored it, I got it out and polished, lovingly shone the chrome work, oiled the chain and handlebars, adjusted and tightened it, buffed up its lumpy, worn and shiny seat. I discovered that it still rides like a dream.
My best friend also has a bike of their own, a slightly newer model than mine, they were quite content with it although often complained bitterly about its stiff brakes, uncomfortable seat and dodgy steering. It didn’t work very well but they always said theirs would do and they seemed to love it.
I have been sharing my bike with my best friend and made it available to them whenever they wanted, they have used it as often as they were able. It has taken us to some brilliant places and we have had such fun together with my old refurbished chassis. My friend loved the paintwork and the suspension, adored the steering control and was intrigued by my bell. But it’s just a bike, not fancy, not a sleek fantastic model, not expensive brand, it’s just my bike.
Now suddenly they say they can't make use of it any more. I think it might be broken and I'm not sure I will ever get to ride it again myself. It may just sit in storage and get cobwebby and a little rusty which seems such a shame.
My problem is that now my friend is cross with me, saying that their bike doesn’t feel right anymore, that they don’t know if they can get it restored to good working order so they can ever enjoy it again. They are blaming me for letting them ride mine and tell me that my beautiful bike has made theirs feel wrong.
I have pointed out to my friend that they weren’t that impressed with theirs anyway, before I even let them have a go on mine, that I know they complained about it lots, that they had looked longingly at new bikes and pondered on what it would be like to have even a quick spin on one of the super duper shiny jobs. I know they had pawed over the thin lightweight frames, the thick chunky mountain models and the neon painted power bikes. Mine is just a bike. And I thought that by letting them share it that it would make them happy and glad to have a friend, I had hoped that while riding it together we would have so much fun that having one that didn’t work wouldn’t matter so much to my friend. But now it seems I have made them even more discontent with what they have. I feel quite upset that this has happened and hope they don't make me regret letting them have a go on mine.
Do you think I should sell mine on Ebay?
I hope you can help me,
‘The Broken Biker’