From the most sleek of racing steeds, to the daily ride into the office, to the most humble of campus beaters, we pamper our bikes, provide them with the acknowledgment they are due in the service of carrying us around. The ways in which we do this are the ways of individual taste, creativity and means. For some, those ways are as simple and functional as keeping them running at optimal performance. For others it means adorning them with shiny jewels, arrangements of glimmering gems along tubes and stays.
I bet this person, the owner of this bike, had streamers flowing from handlebar ends of their first two wheeler, and that they were the treasured accessory. I bet she (I am going to go ahead and assign a gender at this point because it is easier) took great pleasure from watching those streamers wave behind, at sister or brother, or maybe mom or dad, as she raced away one day at great speed. I think this person, the owner of this bike, is into jewelry. I bet the owner of this bike has never been concerned with fitting in, or going along with the crowd. There are all kinds of assumptions we can make about a bike like this. You may have made some too, as soon as you saw the photo.
When I rode upon this bike the other day, it made me realize that of the the bikes I own now, or have owned in the past, none of them were truly unique, they could have belonged to any one of a thousand people. Sure I built them up as I believed they should be, as I believed would best serve my purposes. But none of them said this bike belongs to me in quite the same way the bike shown above says this bike belongs to me of someone else.
So, the question this Friday: Have you ever owned a bike like this, one that truly says this bike belongs to me? If so, what distinguished it as your own?