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January 14, 2002
Smell the fresh bike. Clean grease on the chains, sparkling crank, and the seat doesn’t have a single crease. One long, dusty ride on the trail. Fresh smell is over. Now, the bike is broken in. Broken, needs repair. Suddenly it doesn’t feel like such a great deal, the way it did at the shop.

Can you return a mountain bike once it’s muddied?

I won’t try. I’ll do like I did as a boy. Turn it upside down. Wipe down the shafts. Grease up the chain. Spin the back wheel as fast as possible. Watch the speedometer needle twitch.