I recognize you

You’re covered in stickers and your paint is chipped

Rust crawls throughout your frame

giving you the look of urban camouflage

I have seen you many times

your different forms all carry a familiarity

From the obscenely heavy full-suspention

to the mid-90’s hard-tail


I can tell we’ve met before

Formerly knobby tires that are now closer to slicks, but have come by it honestly

The braking surface of your rims

With the tell-tale concave grove that only develops from prolonged use

the valve stems, protruding from said rim at an almost comical angle

revealing an extended time of riding on less than inflated tires


Soft braking and unusable gears

remind me of the stretched cables I’ve adjusted on you before

Your bent chainring has a metronome like quality

giving me pause to examine the passing of time in my own life

as the bend sweeps past the cage that directs it

A derailleur hanger that is so bent the idler nearly brushes the spokes

and with careless shifting would intertwine itself into them permanently


A chain with grass embedded into the hardened oil that used to lubricate it

made longer with each pedal stroke, is all too familiar to me

Your stubborn seat post that has found a comfortable spot

and now won’t move for anyone or anything


You have strayed from your initial design

unrecognizable to your former self

But I recognize you

I adore you

The marks of age and use only reveal a life well lived

They are beautiful

Nothing lasts forever, we are each given only a short time

you have made the most of it

I applaud you

you are truly an un-rideable bike

because you have been ridden

which makes you the best bike

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