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  • July 01, 2021 3 min read

    As riders our relationship with our bikes is stronger, more intimate and emotionally charged that with the other machinery and devices we use in our daily lives. But just as in our personal lives we make mistakes and get into unhelpful relationships so we do likewise with our bikes. How can we learn and stop making the same mistakes over again? Roland Cambridge has a part-time Diploma in Psychology from the University of Penge and gives us his expert advice on some of the patterns that he sees including: Love at First Sight Syndrome; Unhappy Marriage and Polyamorous Relationships.

    Love at first sight

    You see one being ridden on the street, in a showroom or even in a magazine and you’re smitten, you’ve got to have it! You read the reviews and have a test ride and only see the positives – the paint and bright work gleam, everything works, new tyres make cornering bliss and wow all these riding modes; and yes, you can just about get your feet on the ground. Most of all the bike makes you feel good. Even the derisory trade in price offered for your old bike seems fair - after all, although it’s less than two years old, how can it compare? And every penny of the price to change or monthly contract seems like money well spent: quality costs. Even a call to your insurance broker fails to deter you.

    For the first few weeks you can’t ride your new love enough, finding reasons to go out even early mornings or late nights. When you park you take proud backward glances. Your happiest moment is to meet a rider of a similar but less well specified or equipped model and subtly note the advantages you enjoy: who cares that you’re having to fill up every ninety miles, receive physiotherapy for aching muscles or carefully plan or suffer paroxysms of anxiety when filtering. But these problems are beginning to prey on your mind. And you only ever use one of the multiple riding modes.

    Might disillusionment setting in? To stave this off you buy presents for your bike, an after-market can, new screen, riding lights or a lithium battery. These may have a temporary effect but the killer blow comes when, at Rykas or Newland’s Corner a rider swaggers over to you and says that yes, they had one just like that but ‘chopped it in’ due to the very disadvantages of which you’re becoming increasingly aware. You defend your now not quite so brand new acquisition but the damage is done. You go for a ride and realise that yes, although it’s summer it’s now over a week since you’ve been on the bike. You find yourself drawn back to buying the magazines you haven’t needed for a while or riding routes which take you past main dealerships – why not just have a look? And the pattern begins all over again ...

    Roland says: The roots of your difficulty lie in early childhood when your mother, returning to work due to financial necessity would give you shiny new toys every Friday night when she got paid. You’d be happy for a while, but when she left you to go back to work on Monday morning the Matchbox delivery van or cap pistol would be cast aside and by Wednesday you’d be begging her for an Airfix Spitfire that you’ll never finish properly. You’re looking for love through material objects – and that’s never going to work!

    My advice is to try Person Centre Counselling, Humanistic Psychotherapy or Jungian Analysis in order to resolve deep seated personal issues. Alternatively you could arrange for your salary to be paid into an account managed by your partner (if you have one) or other responsible person until such time as you grow up and are ready for a satisfying three year relationship with a bike you really care about and will love you back.

    Next month Roland looks at unhappy long term relationships


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