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Does your bike have a soul?(59 posts)

Does your bike have a soul?AllisonHayes
Sep 30, 2002 10:22 AM
DanoK's and Spoiler's responses to Spyderman's post on Italian bikes raises an interesting point: does your bike have a soul? Not in the literal sense, but in a figurative way?

Consider,

"Now that defines "soul." Posted by: Spoiler Sep-29-02, 07:39 PM
http://forums.consumerreview.com/crforum?viewall@@.efb77bf

b DanoK:
i "But part of the reason I like the Pinarello so much is the circumstances of how I bought it (Giovanni Pinarello even bought me a cup of espresso in the cafe behind his shop the day I picked it up) and the memories of riding it all over northern Italy. Those things make the bike very special for me"

b Spoiler:
i I couldn't find the words to explain it, so thanks for doing it for me.

Also, consider the line "only moving does it have a soul in the excerpt from Pablo Neruda's poem, "Ode to Bicycles"

i and waiting
at the door,
the bicycle,
stilled,
because
only moving
does it have a soul,
and fallen there
it isn't
a translucent insect
humming
through summer
but
a cold
skeleton
that will return to
life
only
when it's needed,
when it's light,
that is,
with
the
resurrection
of each day.

So, how do you view your bike? Is it something that is simply inanimate -- as when it is sitting there, or, is it something that -- when moving -- does indeed have a soul????
Nahjromack
Sep 30, 2002 10:40 AM
Just some metal, rubber, and leather.

Piece of machinery.
re: Does your bike have a soul?Leroy
Sep 30, 2002 10:43 AM
Yes, and it has a personality, too. This is what makes me feel connected to the bike. I view my bike as a partner in motion. When it's standing motionless, it still is ready to move on a whim. What is so enjoyable about building up a bike, and working on it is the realization that it really is more than the sum of the parts. That extra something, that animus, is the soul of the bike.

Dave Loving
Does your bike have "animus"AllisonHayes
Sep 30, 2002 11:15 AM
Indeed mine does:

b animus

\An"i*mus\, n.; pl. Animi. [L., mind.] Animating spirit; intention; temper.

i Animus is from Latin meaning soul, character, disposition.

...but it can also mean ill will or bad blood - hmm, maybe that explains all those flats???
animus yeslonefrontranger
Sep 30, 2002 12:08 PM
The Colnagos definitely have a certain "je nais sais quois", perhaps it's the spirit of the little fellow on the top tube who inhabits the bike. The Dream Cross has literally saved my skin on some poor offroading decisions. It's a mellow, affable, good karma kind of steed.

The Morgul Bismark is an intransigent little hooligan of a crit bike - nimble and fast, but it rewards poor handling with skittishness and ill humor. It has personality, but I don't know if I'd go so far to say it has soul, unless it is inhabited by the spirit of an angry skater punk.

The new Colnago I have on the way is to be be painted to order and personalized. If that's not a bike with soul, I don't know what is.
the Morgul in action:lonefrontranger
Sep 30, 2002 7:13 PM
Found this in a pile of digital pics my SO had squirreled away on the hard drive. This was apparently taken at Andy Finch, a sick climber's race that I did okay at considering I climb like a cast-iron skillet.

Check out that looong fade paint job. Too bad the pic's too blurry to tell that the M-B logos are a combination of fade and drop shadow artistry.
You look pretty dialed-in to meAllisonHayes
Oct 1, 2002 5:49 AM
But where is that cast-iron skillet you speak of?

...if you climb like one, then I must have lead balloons tied to my legs.

:)
I view my bike more of a window into my soul.spyderman
Oct 1, 2002 11:38 PM
Although, as I gaze across the room at my bike and my dog,
both resting from the days work. I see two beings resting in order to please their master yet another day.

Neither complain when asked to work, rather they crave it.
Without, what purpose would they have?
Only while being ridden. It then merges with my soul. -nmTig
Sep 30, 2002 10:44 AM
Nomr_spin
Sep 30, 2002 10:45 AM
It's just a bike.
It's not about the bike.
No, but I have a Trek 5200 . . .ms
Sep 30, 2002 10:59 AM
Maybe if I had an Italian bike, it would have a soul. Maybe the next bike. Do you think a Madonna del Ghisalo medallion would help the Trek in the interim? (I can assure you that the Trek has been "baptized" by downpours several times without their sparking its soul.)

A note to the religious-minded who may be offended: When I was 9 and my sister was 6, both of us then inmates in Catholic schools, we decided that our new dog needed to be baptized. We dressed the dog in my sister's baptism dress and did the deed. My grandmother, who took these things very seriously, was not only offended that we had performed a sacrilege, but wondered whether we may have been acting under the influence of the devil. Some people still wonder about me.
Worse . . .jromack
Sep 30, 2002 11:06 AM
A phrase I used to hear a lot.

Never try to baptize a cat.
LOL - inmates indeed!AllisonHayes
Sep 30, 2002 11:08 AM
i Maybe if I had an Italian bike, it would have a soul.

I think non-Italian bikes can have souls too (except for Litespeed's that is)

i Do you think a Madonna del Ghisalo medallion would help the Trek in the interim?

Now that is a great idea for those of you whose bikes do not have a soul!

btw, what did the dog think?

AH
The dog was just happy to get out of the dress - nmms
Sep 30, 2002 11:30 AM
Litespeed's do have souls!Juanmoretime
Sep 30, 2002 12:30 PM
My Litespeed is an extension of my body, if when you ride and you and the bike do not function as one, than that bike hasn't any soul.
Litespeed's do have souls!AllisonHayes
Sep 30, 2002 12:57 PM
Well, OK -- in your case dispensation granted. However, in at least one other case, Litespeed is the soul incarnate of the devil...

:)
Soul implies consciousness. On that note I would say...rwbadley
Sep 30, 2002 11:16 AM
that a bike does not have 'a soul'.

I do have to say that each bike seems to have it's own personality, or character. This is by design of the person that crafted the article. My Paramount has the 'soul' of 50 years of racing heritage accumulated by Schwinn and company. When I ride or look at the bike, I derive enjoyment by it's presence.

We could say that the soul of a bike or object is derived from our own thoughts. These thoughts bring enjoyment by allowing ourselves the notion that we see 'soul' crafted by it's maker.

Some articles appear to have more soul to the observer than others. Put them all in a big pile and the collection of 'soul' becomes a collection of trash! :-)

RW
Heritage of the designer...AllisonHayes
Sep 30, 2002 11:35 AM
i My Paramount has the 'soul' of 50 years of racing heritage accumulated by Schwinn and company.

Very intriging perspective - the "personality or character" of your bike is a direct result of years of design and the particular experience of the designer. So, in some metaphysical way, you are experiencing what the designer had in mind and the limit of the design and materials he had at his disposal at the time. And, of course, you can modify the experience by changing the components thereby creating a hybrid personality...

i Put them all in a big pile and the collection of 'soul' becomes a collection of trash!

One persons trash is another persons treasure. For example, due to a certain poster, a Litespeed to me is simply trash... :)
Bike, yes. Me, no.53T
Sep 30, 2002 5:24 PM
My Waterford clearly has the soul of Richard Schwinn and all that has gone before him, just like the Paramount. The Paramount came with the world champion stripes, the Waterford arrives with a promise of victories to come.

Me, I have no soul. That is the only thing that will keep me from going to hell.
Nope, but when I ride it we share mine. nmdzrider
Sep 30, 2002 11:16 AM
Bianchi-no, Torelli-yesU
Sep 30, 2002 11:39 AM
I have a Bianchi Brava that I bought used. I converted it to a fixed-gear bike. It's my commuter bike. I've probably put 10k miles on it. I have stickers all over it. I love riding it, but if it got stolen or broke, I wouldn't be too sad. I just never got too attached to it.
I have a steel Torelli Countach OS racing bike. It came with a simple tag that said "Assembled by Ramone."
I got it from settlement money after I got hit by a car on another bike. If this bike got stolen or wrecked, I'd really be affected. I've driven it to the top of Mt. Lemon (29 mile climb), through my first century, and through my first road race. Riding this bike feels more natural to me than walking upright. Torelli's aren't that common, so on group rides, people will always ID me as "the guy on the blue Torelli."
I've had the money and opportunity to get a new, lightweight carbon or ti bike, but I've always wound up getting new wheels or clothes instead. I know and regret every ding and scratch on it. I still wash and wax it, from top tube to drop-outs. It has soul in my eyes.
Mine are all French........Dave Hickey
Sep 30, 2002 11:41 AM
They complain constantly (that they're not being ridden enough).

They think they're the best bicycles in the world.

They are pretty to the eye, but they're high maintenance.
But of course, zee French bicylette...AllisonHayes
Sep 30, 2002 1:29 PM
Zee French bikes arre like zee wild horse on zee beach, with zee flying mane and zee flaring nostrils, eevery muscle ees bursting with life and je ne sais quois...

Without a doubt, zee French bicyclette is zee standard for grace, strength, rhythm and nobility. They have an amazing capacity for ostentatious and always seek out zee grande and
zee magnifique.
Bianchi-no, Torelli-yesU
Sep 30, 2002 11:41 AM
I have a Bianchi Brava that I bought used. I converted it to a fixed-gear bike. It's my commuter bike. I've probably put 10k miles on it. I have stickers all over it. I love riding it, but if it got stolen or broke, I wouldn't be too sad. I just never got too attached to it.
I have a steel Torelli Countach OS racing bike. It came with a simple tag that said "Assembled by Ramone." It's lugged. I know it was probably put on a jig and brazed by human hands. It didn't have a computer controlled robot running through a pre-programmed route of welding. That means something positive to me.
I got it from settlement money after I got hit by a car on another bike. If this bike got stolen or wrecked, I'd really be affected. I've driven it to the top of Mt. Lemon (29 mile climb), through my first century, and through my first road race. Riding this bike feels more natural to me than walking upright. Torelli's aren't that common, so on group rides, people will always ID me as "the guy on the blue Torelli."
I've had the money and opportunity to get a new, lightweight carbon or ti bike, but I've always wound up getting new wheels or clothes instead. I know and regret every ding and scratch on it. I still wash and wax it, from top tube to drop-outs. It has soul in my eyes.
Brava no, Reparto Corse yes.mackgoo
Sep 30, 2002 5:30 PM
By the way Nephesh, soul implys breath. A living breathing organism. No bike can ever hope to do that, no master frame builder can ever hope to endow that.
Soul? No. Personality? Yes.DougSloan
Sep 30, 2002 11:53 AM
Some bikes have personality. A "je ne se quoi." It's sort of subjective, and in the eye of the beholder / "I know it when I see it" sort of thing.

A Colnago has it; Cannondale does not. A Bianchi has it; a Trek does not -- that is, unless it's won the Tour de France.

I don't think a Cervelo time trial bike has it; it's more of a pure speed tool.

Doug
so, you need to pay extra for a soul?weiwentg
Sep 30, 2002 12:18 PM
that, or it needs to be a classic bike in some way (eg, lugged steel, sentimental value, etc)?
no not reallylonefrontranger
Sep 30, 2002 12:45 PM
My SO has a Colnago Dream with Record, but he also has kept his original racing frame: a plain white 1988 Cannondale crit bike. It was originally built with a Sora/Tiagra equivalent Suntour group and those frames were as common as dirt. I think he paid something like $500 for it brand new.

It is now his singlespeed bike and he rides it as much as the 'nag. He loves that sorry old thing, which I guesss I can understand because I'm still kicking myself for selling my Giant Cadex CFR (the guy who bought it from me still races it and it's ten years old).

When the 'Dale was five or six years old, my SO paid more than the frame was worth to have it repainted. Last year when he bent the rear dropout one time too many and snapped it off, he took it to the same guys who built my Morgul and again paid more than the frame was worth to have it repaired and touched up.
that falls under sentimental valueweiwentg
Sep 30, 2002 12:48 PM
I contend that: expensive bikes, especially European bikes, automatically have souls. lugged steel has souls, but only for steel fan(atic)s. everything else has to earn its soul.
Soul by decree, by fiat and by interdiction, eh?AllisonHayes
Sep 30, 2002 1:12 PM
by decree: expensive bikes, especially European bikes, automatically have souls.

by fiat: lugged steel has souls, but only for steel fan(atic)s.

by interdiction: everything else has to earn its soul.
yep :)weiwentg
Sep 30, 2002 5:16 PM
seriously, the rational side of my brain knows that marketing forms a large part of the perceived 'soul' of a bike, as do European origins (definitely not Taiwanese origins :p). but then again, when I look at my TCR, it's just a machine. a De Rosa (Merak = aluminum, right?) is more than that. an Airborne Zeppelin, excellent bike though it may be, is just a machine, a Seven Axiom is more than that.
PSweiwentg
Sep 30, 2002 5:20 PM
the psychological process related to this stuff about souls is called justification of effort: I paid so damn much for this machine that there must be something special about it.
my TCR is a great bike. I got it for a pretty good deal. ask me about it at 1, 3, 5 and 10 year intervals. by the 3-year interval, chances are it'll be a TCR carbon :)
PSThe Human G-Nome
Sep 30, 2002 7:30 PM
it is in accordance with just such a philosophy that i reside. i've had the same girlfriend for 8 years and i've rooted for the freakin' Golden State Warriors for just as long. the person i consider my best friend (even though i no longer get to see him and he lives 400 miles away) is a drug addict. i've put the effort into these relationships and "there must be something special about them." damn anyone who would tell me otherwise.
That is your perception of "soul"Lazywriter
Sep 30, 2002 8:34 PM
A poor cyclist who can only afford a huffy may look at the Airborne and envision it's "soul" as he longs for such a bike whereas a rich guy may only see a Pinarello LS at $9000 as having soul. See where this is going?
This "soul" is purely what each individual perceives and with everyone percieving different types and brands as having a soul is the same as all the religions claiming they are right and therefore everyone is misguided by their own narcissistic beliefs that what they "have" is special.
I love my Litespeed Vortex, but I am not retarded to ascribe some "mystical" quality to it even though there are some who would. You people seem to be confusing soul with a proper fit. "me an the bike are one". What a bunch of shit
my my, why if it isn't the squeaky voice of the little ratsoAllisonHayes
Oct 1, 2002 5:32 AM
You poor uptight thing - not happy that you can control the world? I doubt that even Steven King could comprehend what goes on in that twisted little fascist mind of yours.
or -- depending where you live...philippec
Sep 30, 2002 12:27 PM
You could reverse your list. Here in France a Cannondale (US chic) has it, a Colnago does not (too many!), A Trek has it (L.Armstrong chic), a Bianchi does not (mass produced on the same assembly line as toasters -- well, almost!), etc... Litespeeds here are near the top of pile, 1970s Peugeots are at the bottom. It's all in the eye and the nationality of the beholder.

My bikes have no soles -- in that way they are like my favourite pair of tennis shoes!

A+

Philippe
Half of the world wants what the other half is throwing away-nmms
Sep 30, 2002 2:06 PM
Brilliant post, simple yet so true. NMLazywriter
Sep 30, 2002 8:35 PM
re: Does your bike have a soul?tmotz
Sep 30, 2002 11:53 AM
I don't know about soul,but if it does ,its the soul of a murderer.Its pushes my body to extreme exhaustion and doesn't say a word.It teases me to ride it and still just looks at me.It gets new parts and still wants to hurt me.
Yes...DINOSAUR
Sep 30, 2002 12:32 PM
I have an italian bike, but I didn't care to get involved in the italian bike topic. I had a hard time ordering my Colnago Master X-Light. I was told that it was the first order for a LX23 Robobank MXL for this year.

I've tweaked it, polished it, spent hours in my garage working on it on hot summer days with greasy hands and sweat dripping off me. It took me about 3000 miles until I finally got it dialed in perfect.

When I ride I feel like we are one, the bike is attached to me. So if I have a soul and my bike and I are one, then yes, my bike has a soul.

I named it Rosebud (unlike Citizen Kane, I found happiness in the form of two wheels).......

The bicycle
sits still now
gleaming
shining

mostly metal
and plastic
and rubber

all colors
yellow
black
red
orange
and blue

what, just a bicyle you say?
It's more than that
you see
I've fussed with it
and changed a thing or two

cleaned it
and shined it
a time or two

it is more than a bicycle
it has it's own very soul
you see
it has been ridden as best
as I could be

I've learned and important lesson
from this machine now so still
to slow and look not so fast
sometimes you pass only once
as life itself
BravoAllisonHayes
Sep 30, 2002 12:49 PM
very very nice, Dinosaur!

bravo, bravo
JEEEEEEZE, you people are suchLazywriter
Sep 30, 2002 3:34 PM
dorks. Seriously, I can appreciate a nice machine, but in the end it is a machine. No soul to search for, just parts. You people confuse the joy of riding and ascribe a humaninstic quality to an inanimate object. One could argue that a human soul doesn't exist. Purely a psychological phenomenon and man's narcissism shining through in that there must be more to us than just flesh and bone. I say there isn't more to us than flesh and bone and people confuse the idea of "soul" with the search for something greater than the reality in which we live.
This is as good as it gets. You die, go into the ground and are absorbed back into the earth like every other creature in this world. That is why it is silly to even talk about a bike having soul.
hey, you little creep...AllisonHayes
Sep 30, 2002 4:12 PM
Allison, you are soLazywriter
Sep 30, 2002 4:15 PM
funny. I am pissing my pants right now. That is comedic wit never seen before. Amazing, you should be on stage. That is beyond funny. LMFAO AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
I an gonna have a stroke I am laughing so hard.
You are the epitome of all that is corny. Remember that.
Allison, you are soThe Human G-Nome
Sep 30, 2002 7:26 PM
16 year-old kids afraid of their own sexuality are fearful of being labeled "corny". most adults could give a damn. (in fact, it's encouraged, endearing)

Interviewer: "That is just uncool. Aren't you afraid that people are going to realize that's just totally not cool anymore."

Ian McKaye: "I'm not the least bit interested in being cool."
JEEEEEEZE, you people are suchSpoiler
Sep 30, 2002 6:52 PM
Is it as silly as trying to convince us that we don't have a soul? It must be hell to live and die by data and science and to know it's useless to prove your point. Since we happily believe in soul, needless of proof, the burden of disproof is on you. If you can come up with any data to prove a soul doesn't exist, I'll fellate you in front of my grandmother. Heaven knows, you need it.

Your soul brother,
Spoiler
LOL, I actually canLazywriter
Sep 30, 2002 7:12 PM
fellate myself so I don't need you but the seeing your grandmother fellate you would be interesting. BTW, I like the word fellatio so much I named my dog it. No, the burden of proof would actually be on you to prove because as with every other aspect of life, the scientific method must be applied. You wouldn't want to take a medication because the developer "believed" it would work. Therefore you "believe" you have a soul but there is no objective proof, just blind faith. There is no such thing as the burden of disproof that is not how it works and you know it.
LOL, I actually canSpoiler
Sep 30, 2002 8:04 PM
This is fun.
The reason I believe the burden of disproof is on you is because I have no desire to convince you that souls exist. I've never tried to prove it. From your posts, I get the idea that you're trying to prove they don't. I could be wrong. Maybe you're just like the rest of us, merely stating your opinion or what you "believe."
True, with the advances medicine has made through its use of the scientific method, I feel more comfortable taking medicine based on it. But my comfort isn't based solely on the fact that advances have been made THROUGH the scientific method. If I start seeing medical advances being made through faith healing, I'm jumping on that ship.
Along these lines, I believe in a soul, and I project an idea of soul into my bike. As long as I've done this, I've seen advances in my sense of well-being. If the belief in a soul starts to retard my sense of well-being, I'll jump ship and become Dr. Spock.
I can see that you have faith in science. I hope I haven't come across as mocking you for it. If it makes you happy, then you'd be a fool to believe anything else.
LOL, I actually canLazywriter
Sep 30, 2002 8:25 PM
Science is what has made titanium, carbon and aluminum bikes possible as all other things in our lives. Faith and "the soul" hasn't been that productive and that is a fact.
People confuse human drives for soul. Every feeling you have be it happiness, sexual arousal, fear etc all have a chemical explanation. Some use a teological argument of "what created all of this" which is not a legitimate stance but rather an act of pure desparation. "But something must have set all this in motion?" This is not an explanation, it is another question.
Your last statement is the most profound because whatever makes someone happy is what they should go with as there are no absolutes. Even science revises theory but faith and belief in the soul hasn't put man in space. The human's drive to succeed and challenge things is what got us out of the Dark Ages when no one questioned the world and believed everything was the work of a higher power.
You got sick, it was God's will, you got rich, it was God's will, etc. People need to thank the Einsteins, Descartes, Da Vincis and all the free thinkers (many of whom were athiests) for the adavances humans have made.
Now, I am gonna fellate myself and go to sleep. Give your grandmother a kiss for me. LMAO
LOL, I actually canSpoiler
Sep 30, 2002 8:46 PM
"what created all of this" Isn't that the basis for science? Asking questions? I have complete faith in science's ability to make a more effective biological weapon. I question science's ability to make me happy.
If Bush is telling the truth, science has put biological weapons in the hands of Iraq. How productive has that been?
LOL, I actually canLazywriter
Sep 30, 2002 8:58 PM
Science has an excuse for its imperfections as it is man who is not perfect and therefore scientists make wrong decisions. However, The "Almighty" is suppose to be perfect and he/she sure fu(ked things up hugh?
Einstein knew right away that what he had done with his knowledge to create the bomb was wrong and that was his biggest regret in his life. He also warned about Isreal's nation building and knew it would be divisive. Man was he a smart bastard (and an athiest. :)
JEEEEEEZE, you people are suchThe Human G-Nome
Sep 30, 2002 7:21 PM
once again...

"I see the ghost of a better world living in your disbelief in ghosts."

Life is just a movie, of which you are the star, the director and the producer. Trouble is, most people don't have the guts to invent a life worth worth watching. The last thing you want is for your life to read like a book no one would want to read. Live a little, believe in things that don't seem possible. Better still, believe in things you KNOW are impossible.

hells yes my bike has soul.
Titanium Soul or Steel? I see a debate brewing here! : ) nm128
Sep 30, 2002 12:38 PM
Yes and it wants revenge.MB1
Sep 30, 2002 12:49 PM
For all those wet rides, early mornings and being put away wet. I am trying to soothe it by playing Vivaldi as I clean, wax and lube it.
Lately, she's been ChristineStarliner
Sep 30, 2002 1:13 PM
as in the Stephen King movie. I've been getting a lot of flats - very eerie. Then there's these mysterious groans and creaks, clicks and plinks. She's trying to tell me something, I know. But as to just what it is, I'll simply have to meditate upon it to see.
Yes, but it's evil.grzy
Sep 30, 2002 2:14 PM
It makes me do things I shouldn't, thus the name Damien (from The Omen)!
Gets jealous, feelings easily hurt ...Humma Hah
Sep 30, 2002 3:49 PM
I've ridden it for 31 years. If it did NOT have a soul, I'd have scrapped it long ago.

It was not until recently, however, that I began to suspect it had a gender. I've always thought of the cruiser as "it", even after giving it the name Humma Hah. But recently I've begun to suspect "it" is a "she". Humma's gotten jealous of the '74 Paramount.
A soul?Ahimsa
Sep 30, 2002 6:02 PM
My bike has "soul". As for having "a soul".....hmmmm I dunno.

I know that I personify it. I probably shouldn't do that, but nonetheless, it is difficult to go through so much with an object and not begin to impart personality and depth of character to it.

My daily, "Hell" as she is dubbed, is a workhorse of high order. She does a job no bike should be asked to do until well into it's beater years (which BTW may be the best years for a bike IMHO, new parts, new uses, enshrinement, sentimental attachment, etc.).

By that virtue alone I find it comforting to think of the bike as being as relient upon me as I am upon it.

Silly? Sure. But.....

If she ever goes down I will mourn the loss.

Cheers!

"Hell" and Ahimsa
The way I see it:aeon
Sep 30, 2002 7:45 PM
Some wild generalizations:

Steel has the most soul (except Foco or UltraFoco)
then Ti
then CF
then Aluminum

campy has more soul than shimano
old bikes have more soul than new ones

bikes that are maintained have more soul than those that aren't

if you're not proud of the names on the bike, it doesn't have soul

bikes from small makers have more soul than those from big makers (inluding colnago)