It’s not often I ask for either help or forgiveness on the hedgehog, but tonight both are definitelyÂ required. Firstly forgiveness, because earlier I was reminded of a throwaway comment during the “Moses Rains” back in November. Endampened, frustrated and cursing the inclemency of never ending wet I may have whispered quietly “GIVE US A PROPER WINTER, ONE WITH SNOW AND ICE AND COLD“. To make things worse there may have beenÂ “AND NOT ONE DAY OF IT EITHER, P R O P E R WINTER I SAID, SNOW ON THE GROUND, SNOWMEN, SLEDGING ALL THAT KIND OF THING” as a shouted verbal addition.
And now something that rarely, if ever has happened before, a public apology. I am so very, very sorry. Because as I write this the thump of avalanching snow falls from the roof and white stuff surrounds us in every direction. There is a proper ladies* six inches out there on top of compacted ice, all of which shall make my trip to London tomorrow something of an epic. I would happily swap 18-20 hours of delay, excuses and boredom for repeated stabs in the eye from a sharp object. And the way our ongoing feud with eON is progressing, that sharp object is likely to be a lawyer.
Okay apology over, I’m over it now and it won’t happen again. Now to your advice – and I do realise asking a random collection of web-washed RSS feeds who’ve run out of things to stare out of the window at is taking the “Wisdom of the Crowd” to an razors’ edge not oft visited by Occam but- on a matter of great import. It’s nothing so tawdry as employment advice, or whether sex with vegetables is always wrong**, no something far more emotive, more heart wrenching and the subject of much hand wringing.
Not long ago, I wasn’t going to buy an ST4 as I had the Cove. Then I wasn’t going to sell the Cove even after I’d raped it for parts for that ST4. And then, an opportunity came up to do just that and I nearly have.Â My rationale is that bikes should be ridden, not hoarded in a fit of metal kleptomania, nor abandoned in rafters, gathering dust and being nothing more than a vague mental trigger for the shinier things you now have.Â It’s a good rationale but not one I’ve often followed, yet the cross bike went when the road bike came and now the Cove should go because it’s been usurped, replaced, upgraded.
And yet as I cleaned it up, every scratch brought back a joyful memory. The three inch scar on the chain stay etched by a terrible line through steep rocks, the scuffs from endless road trips, the dink where first ride chain suck attempted to eat the frame. And then I remembered all the brilliant days I’ve had on this bike even when my back cried enough but my mind refused to listen, the carelessly thrown bike at the end of a monster descent, sweat glistening on the top tube after a bastard climb on a hot summers day, flashes of frame as trees whipped by.
This isn’t just a frame, it’s a memory bank.Â I can’t sell it.
* A man, and I mean any man, would stare into the middle distance before declaring “Yep, two foot there love. At least”
** It is, whatever my friend Dave says. And he says it with relish declaring such an act as “a medley”. I wish I were joking.