I've never quite understood the desire to keep things new - the effort required to make something not appear as if it has not served its purpose. A blinding white pair of sneakers, a ball cap with the tag on for eternity, a bike that never has any dirt on it. I just don't get it.
That's not not to say that I don't believe in maintenance. I do. I wipe the bike down after most rides, I clean and lube the chain regularly, and I try to keep bolts torqued and cables adjusted. But I ride enough that my bike always looks a bit ragged, a bit worn, and a bit dirty.
I get many comments about my bike looking well ridden, a polite way of saying it looks rough. And I take this as a compliment. My bike is like my hammer or my screw driver or my truck - tools that I use to accomplish a goal. And tools that ate well used show their age. Tools that are quality tools last under the pressure of daily use. Those that are not don't last.
It always makes me a bit sad when I see a bike that looks like its never been ridden. The tool is not being used as intended. It is being a users as a show piece.
So, in this season of bike rah rah, get out there and ride. Use the tool for its purpose and let the tool show some of that use.
And avoid white sneakers. That's just bad fashion.