Here at LGRAB, we have a strong appreciation for the beauty of bicycles. So it was with some consternation that I read this paragraph in a post on Wisebread:
[A] number of people who owned very expensive bikes were doing their level best to make them look like $20 Craigslist rejects. It’s a simple enough idea. You take your wonderful $1000 bike, and proceed to repaint it, badly, apply stickers and scratches and scuff marks, bits of old tape, dirt, grime, in fact anything you can think of, and hey presto – one expensive bike that performs like a dream but looks like a nightmare. . . . Of course, you have the downside of riding a bike that looks less than cool, but if you’re a real biking fanatic that won’t bother you.
This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered this idea, but it was the first time I really thought about it.
Is the loss of the “cool factor” really the only downside? Putting aside the question of whether there is such a thing as a “cool” bicycle outside of the enlightened bike blogosphere, something about the idea of taking something beautiful and making it ugly bugs this “real biking fanatic.” Does a bike really still ride like a dream if you’re sitting on duct tape and using mismatched pedals, as this Make magazine article advocates? Call me shallow, but part of the enjoyment I get from riding my bicycle — and driving my car, for that matter — is that it looks nice and is reasonably clean and well-taken care of. Of course, if painting my Batavus brown and ripping up the seat was the only way to hold onto it…well, I guess I would do it. Until then, I’ll let this sticker from my aunt Kathy do the job (well, that and my O-lock, U-lock and cable lock).
What about you? Anyone uglified their bike, or another item, to make sure it stayed yours?