OLD AND NEW
In Bikeland, where many of us reside (whether it be through our hobbies, work or online daily distractions) we are often sold the latest and greatest. That’s fine; technology is moving swiftly and we have seen the development from 26” to 29” and now 27.5” in less than 10 years. There seems to be a new industry standard with each year’s models. Technological advances mean we now have 160mm travel bikes that can pedal uphill, something that would have been mindblowing a decade ago. We have lightweight, more protective helmets and better fitting clothing. It’s the humble backpack. During the past decade’s evolution of wheel sizes I have had one humble cranberry-coloured friend accompanying me on long day trips, seemingly endless hikes, bike path jaunts with toddlerfriendly picnics and international travel. about how long the old girl would last. Most features are working well but she’s beginning to show the wear of many years of love and abuse. The consideration of a new backpack takes some time and commitment, you can’t just go and pick one and expect it to serve you well for 10 years. A true backpack-lover will spend time poring over details to make sure it’s the right one. I looked at multiple brands, different sizes, new features as well as old. In the end I came back to the same trusted brand. There are not many things I have loyalty for in this fast-paced, consumer-driven world, but it appears backpacks and bikes are the two I seem to care about. The new rig arrived on my birthday; she features a slightly retro feel, yet retains most of the features I have come to know and love. Another women’s specific design, she fits like a glove straight away. She’s not quite cranberry but similar, perhaps she could more appropriately be described as aubergine. Though I don’t use old cranberry anymore, I can’t bring myself to chuck her on the scrap heap; she’s too good, we have been through too much together. Thinking about the optimal backpack and rapidly replaceable bicycle technology and the endurance of things, I’m compelled to draw comparisons to life and relationships. Sometimes it feels like there are just so many people to meet, whether it’s through work or different social circles. You make friends and some will stick, but many won’t. The ones that matter are the ones that have your back through the rough times and the good - the ones that survive the test of time and are irreplaceable.