Apparently, #newbikeday is A Thing. I know – who woulda thunk it? Twitter is awash with subtle and not-so-subtle bragging about our latest purchases, and you know what? I’m not immune. Sad but true. So when I picked up my new downhill sled from the fine folks at Rutland Cycling in Peterborough, I had to join in. So I took Dana (for that is her name) home, propped her up against the wall and snapped away, before posting for the whole world to see. Heck, I even made a #newbikeday video (or edit as the cool kids call it)…
And then I waited. For what, I’m not quite sure. Did I really need the clicked approval of my cycling peers? Probably not. Did it feel good when those likes came rolling in? Yes. But why? It’s not like I’d actually done anything to merit this kudos – I hadn’t hewn the bike from raw aluminium myself, I hadn’t even built the bike from its constituent parts; I’d simply gone into the shop a few months ago and said “I’d like that one please”. I’m not entirely sure I needed my friends’ approval of my purchase choice. Quite frankly, I don’t give a fig if they don’t like the bike, I really don’t.
So why does buying a new bike feel so good? I wish I could answer that, I really do. From an economic point of view, I could argue that I’ve helped keep a smallish, locally based retailer in business, and that buying from a bricks-and-mortar shop I’ve slowed (marginally) the march of the faceless internet-only megalithic corporation, in favour of the little guy. I could argue that by selling my old bike on, and by trading in an old banger that I’ve saved some scrap metal from landfill and that I’ve helped the environment (but this argument is incredibly tenuous, and so full of holes that I’m not going to say it).
But, to be honest, none of the above really matters, because buying a new bike just feels good. It gives us the hope that whatever we couldn’t do on the old bike, you’ll be able to do on the new bike, because, well, it’s newer, and therefore faster/lighter/bouncier/sexier* than the previous one.
And finally, well, it’s N+1, isn’t it…?
*Delete as applicable