Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I don’t have it right now, that feeling I often get around this time of year, when, in my idle hours, I find myself perusing custom bike builders online, imagining geometries and component mixes, trying to think up justifications for needing another two-wheeler and plotting ways to finance new purchases by winnowing the stable.

It’s not that I couldn’t conceive of owning another bicycle; why just the other day, for instance, there was a burnt-orange Rivendell All-Rounder frame in almost my size for sale on eBay; had it been a couple of centimeters shorter along the top tube and built for 700c rather than 26” wheels, I might have put in a bid.

It’s just that I’m not Jonesing like I often have, thinking, even as I ride along on one I currently own that if only I had something else to fill a gap, I’d be a complete person.

As far as I can tell, I’ve got all the bases covered: my everyday commuter/touring rig, the Saluki; my “go-fast” (such as it is) Randonneur-type ride, the Tournesol; the beefy shopper/hauler/city bike, Hunqapillar; my single-speed Quickbeam; those four form the solid foundation upon which nothing else, really needs to build.

But then, there’s the tandem for dates and kid-hauling; the triplet for occasional family outings; the powder-coated Miyata currently on a trainer in the basement to loan out to friends and acquaintances and for times I need to leave a bike double-locked overnight in a public place like at the airport or the bus station.

And, of course, I can’t bear to part with the XO-1, which ought to get ridden way more but still warms my heart every time I see it, so counts as a work of art at least.

I do, naturally, fantasize about having fewer bikes; if one could do what two or three currently do, then sure.

But to get there, I’d have to get another; and that would just be sick.


Anonymous Richard Risemberg said...

Funny. I have two bikes, set up similarly; one is a backup in case I need to get somewhere and discover a garage flat. The main bike is really sweet, though.

But I have a friend who owns fifty, and another who owned around 300 till he winnowed the herd down to a mere 80 or so. And another pal who has only seven or eight....

Despite being deprived, I get in some 600 miles a month and enjoy the hell out of riding.

My friend with 50 rides even more and enjoys it too.

None of it matters much when the wheels are turning and the jasmine's in bloom....

7:32 PM  

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