failing like never before


The Parable of the Bicycle

Once upon a time, there was a young lad (read: me) who owned an ingenuous, two-wheeled, mechanical device for rapid human-powered transport. The device, called a bicycle, was in fact quite common in these times and could be purchased for a minimal fee. Now, this lad was dismayed to find one day that his bicycle had been seized by vicious thieves one day whilst he was at school improving his mind, and because the poor boy was loathe to spend his hard earned money it was many years before he obtained another bicycle.

When the lad, now a young man, finally got another bicycle, it was nothing like his shining bicycle of old, but was a rusted cast-off of some rich gentleman. Built of heavy steel, with thick sprockets the size of dinner plates (the big kinds that people use for eating extremely messy foods), and poorly made derailleurs, the bicycle was not the sort of device that a lad of these times would have lusted for. Indeed, most would have deemed the hulking metal mound a waste of time. But nevertheless the young man purchased it for a mere pittance, and labored over the bicycle, cleaning and mending it, making it whole and strong (or rather, as whole and strong as the decrepit bicycle could be). Yet all of his sweat was for naught, for the bicycle scarcely managed to travel two score miles whereupon the front tire was punctured by numerous thorns and the badly made grease-guard was ripped asunder. The young man however, though disappointed, did not lose faith, and yet again he strove to make the bicycle whole. On the bicycle's next trip however, the tire was punctured yet again, the crank-shaft's bearing-cage was crushed, bearings were spilled from the crank assembly, the rear derailleur was knocked askew, and the bicycle was reduced to a rattling, crippled steel beast. And although he made every effort to restore the machine to it's former state, he knew that the bicycle was beyond hope, for it had suffered greatly and was beyond all mortal skills of repair.

Bearing these dark and ill thoughts, he set out in search of another bicycle and happened to chance upon a Trek 820 mountain bicycle. The Trek, much like the young man's previous steel machine, was old and rusted, and happily, also quite inexpensive. He bought quickly bought the Trek, for the old man who sold it knew naught what a treasure it was. For though the Trek was quite dirty and rusted, it's derailleurs were true, the frame was made not of readily available heavy steel but of light-weight chromium-molybdenum steel, and the wheels spun with a lightness and vitality that the young man had never felt before. He took the Trek home and cleaned and adjusted it, until the spokes shone and the brakes were tight. The next day he set out on a great quest.

But not a dozen miles from home, the strangest thing happened; the rear tire made a noise like "WHUNK PHIsssshhhhh" and in the space of five seconds the tire was reduced to the thickness of a sheet of parchment. The young man's heart fell, for not only had his great machine failed him, he was also many miles from home without any form of transport save for his feet. He attempted to use the power of the demon Motorola, (an otherworldly creature capable of facilitating communication across long distances) to call forth assistance, but the demon had grown weary of roaming and lay as though dead. And so, the young man lifted the bicycle with both hands and attempted the journey towards the nearest sanctuary. His step did not falter and his grip upon the Trek's frame did not grow weak, for though the Trek was weighty and refuge far away, his strength was as the strength of ten for his heart was pure.

There's a lesson in this badly written not-quite-parable. It is: you get what you pay for. Paying ten dollars for a bicycle generally means you're going to get a piece of shit (excuse my Klatchian). One must not however, be like my mother, who often confuses price with quality. That is to say, an increase in price does not always mean an increase in product/service qualtiy.

So basically, I have no point. If you've got a problem to that, and feel as though I've just wasted a good one minute of your life, please be sure to direct all comments to /dev/null.

Tagged as: , 3 Comments