a bike shop, so he's got a lot of exposure to bikes and the people that ride them. We had a great discussion on shiny bikes and fancy components. He was telling me that people will come in and apologize for the condition of their bikes when they're heavily beaten and used or built with cheapo parts.
I love when a bike shows wear and tear. I love a cheap bike that's been ridden to the point that it needs repair. That means you're riding it.
We tuned up quite a bit on the Troll as we were chatting it up. Yes, the Troll, which is built up with a relatively new frame and brand-spanking-new parts has been through a lot. That's because the Troll has been ridden. All the components are dirty and grimy, bolts have come loose and the new chain needed lube... again. And I love that. I've been riding it.
Don't apologize for your bike's crappy condition. Wear it's paint chips and stuck components as a badge of honor. And if your bike is all shiny, go ride it. Get it dirty (I suppose it is okay to wash it afterwards.) :)
But the most valuable thing is to ride.
Get out there.