I’ve been looking at new bikes recently. It’s time to replace my tired old ride, and all the new stuff is shiny, pretty and clean. It’s awesome. And a little unnatural.
As gorgeous as a new bike can be sitting in the shop, it looks far better when it’s wearing some splattered mud, hard-earned scratches and a mishmash of old and new parts.
Some red dirt from the Southwest is a nice touch, too. Especially if it clings to the bike for a few weeks or months after a bike vacation. The alien-looking soil is a nice reminder of fun times on faraway trails.
My bike didn’t go on my latest trip, so it’s sadly free of red dirt. My new frame will be even cleaner, and I’ll admit I’m looking forward to building it up and then admiring its shiny, pristine awesomeness from across the room for a few days.
But what I really want to do is take it out and get it dirty this summer, and then see it in all its glory, leaning tired and filthy against a tree.
Mountain bikes were meant to be dirty.