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Shiny Toys

Downhill glory.

Everyone knows the feeling of getting something shiny and new. It could have been your last birthday, or Christmas, or maybe a little treat to yourself after a momentous occasion, like finishing school.

I just bought a brand-new iPhone. I baby that thing like it is made of glass. I make sure the face is clean or that it is not getting stored with any sharp objects on my ride to work. I even put it in a little cloth bag on mountain bike rides to preserve its shiny, almost-new sheen. Some might say I go out of my way to do so.

It is no different with a new car. People want to keep that glossy, fresh-off-the-lot look for as long as possible. Great lengths are taken to ensure this. Waxes, polishes, buffers and repeated vacuuming. A lot of effort and stress is put into keeping that new vehicle in perfect shape. Seems like it takes the fun right out of owning that new vehicle, doesn’t it?

My all-mountain machine.

That is why I love bikes.

Take a brand new bike, for example. They do look really nice sparkling clean and pristine, but the excitement lies not in the brand-new state of a bike, but in the potential that new bike holds for fun in the not-so-distant future. I just built up two new bikes, right around the time that I bought my new phone. Unlike my phone, I cannot wait to get my bikes dirty and scratched up. That built up patina over the course of a season hides countless stories of rides past. Moments where I was one with my shiny machine, actually enjoying it for what it was meant for. Each ride provides the bike with another story, whether it is some forest loam sticking to the frame, or a nick on the fork from that near-disaster, or the chewed side knobs of the tires from those favourite corners you really love roosting into.

My two new bikes are sitting at home with me, and I am excited to take the shine right out of these fresh toys, and have some fun in the process.

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