A Note from Fatty: Today’s excellent story comes to you from frequent commenter Born4Lycra. I have to say, I am really enjoying all the stories you readers are sending in. Thanks for covering for me! I believe I will make "Readers’ Stories" a regular part of Fat Cyclist once I come back.

I’m wondering if anyone can offer any insight into what happened to me today…and help me avoid what might happen later today.

The Dilemma
I innocently accompanied Dave, a good mate and work colleague to a nearby bike shop (Mike Turtur Cycles Main North Rd Prospect SAust), merely to window shop while he inquired about various bikes across the Pinnarello, Orbea and Olmo range. He went to get prices and possibly buy, while I went for something to do and to spend my lunchtime surrounded by bikes, as well as maybe pick up a few tips, ideas, prices, and so forth for future reference.

My friend’s single, well paid, and loaded. I’m married (happily) and am a proud dad with limited resources.

So why did I leave the proud owner of a new Orbea Venta limited edition 2007 model, while he is still trying to make up his mind between studying, athletics, cycling, golf and soccer?

Love at First Sight
It’s true: I have always hankered after an Orbea — preferably bright orange. You know, the kind of bike that looks fast even when leaning against the wall at the coffee shop. Of course it will look slower if I am in the picture, but I’m willing to live with that.

It’s true: my own bike is close to the bottom of the range of Avanti’s and probably needed updating. However, it was not in my plans to happen this year let alone this day.

Dave and I walked into the shop and Greg Turtur made his way straight for me. So how did Greg know I was vulnerable? Was it the drool? The audible sighs? Or was it just that I looked like a buyer? Regardless, Dave faded into the background — gathering information quietly — while I am directed straight to my fantasy on wheels (which has only been on display for 3 hours).

There were tell tale signs that the purchase was going to happen.

  • I went through the bike fitting process. Only for future reference, of course. 
  • They through me a brand new pair of Euskatel knix to wear during the fitting. Once they were open and used, I may as well keep them. Wow. Thanks!
  • The whole setup was my size. Just lower the seat 15mm and it’s done. Surprise, surprise. 
  • True love. There were heaps of bikes, yet I only had eyes for this one.
  • I bought my wallet with me. Inexplicable really because I usually don’t take it anywhere. No cash in it, just ID.
  • Yes the bike was obviously available for immediate delivery. I could be riding it tonight.

Token Objections
Sure, I tried to resist. Here’s how it went:

Me: "I really like it but I obviously don’t carry that sort of cash around."

Greg: "No problem, your word is enough for us."

So now, suddenly, I have an Orbea Bike. Somehow, the fact that it’s not orange doesn’t matter.

So back to my original problem: how did this happen? And more importantly, how I can tell my wife this tale I have just told you?


  1. Random Reviewer

    you can’t. leave the bike at work, and only ride it during the week and during the day.
    so did you get the green one? oh, i love orbeas. some effete elites here will doubtless question the value (oh reason not the need–they would question the value of a ducati too, pay no attention). make no mistake, you’ve purchased a work of art.

  2. Chad and Charlotte

    Congrats on the new ride! How about some pics? You can even stay out of them if you want the bike to look faster…

  3. Unknown

    My wife has a warning that she wanted me to post (she’s too lazy to register). Men, we should probably take this to heart!
    When I was in graduate school, there was a nontraditional age student who ended up in most of my classes. She seemed nice enough, but when I tried to be friendly with her, I always got the impression that she had a chip on her shoulder about life. One day, near the end of the semester she walked up to me after class. She had a wild look in her eyes…the kind I imagine Jack the Ripper had before he came in on the final approach to his next victim. I tried to run, but was trapped…cornered. She said "You ride a bike don’t you?" I, unsure of what to say, followed my mom’s childhood advice and went for the truth. "Yes." "Explain THIS to me…I’m a stay at home mom with five small children trying to go back to school. When I want to get away from the kids, I never can because when my husband isn’t at work…he’s on his @#[email protected]# bike. AND NOW last night he came home and announced he’d bought a Colnalgo C40. I don’t know what that is, but I saw the bill. I’ve decided I’m throwing him out and getting a divorce!" Ok, so I get it now…her wild eyed look isn’t directed at me…she was just looking to another woman to commiserate with/shed some light on what was going on. I just have to get out of the corner before I get involved somehow. She still seems on the verge of violence. Self-preservation mode took over. I helpfully suggested she get a sitter and told her the name of the bar where the weekly local Beer Ride ride ends and about what time most cyclists made it there. She hugged me and I took the chance to RUN out of the room. Thank God I had time to call everyone I knew and tell them NOT TO GO ON THE BEER RIDE THAT NIGHT!

  4. BIg Mike In Oz

    Dude, you may as well just go home tonight and say "Honey, I started divorvce proceedings during my lunch break today."

  5. BIg Mike In Oz

    Wow, I just realised something.  Either you’ve got a speech impediment or I spelt divorce wrong a moment ago.

  6. BIg Mike In Oz

    Dear Brett Taylor, Please ensure that your wife is properly informed of the rules of Beer Ride with the utmost urgency. 
    Rule 1: Never talk about Beer Ride.
    Rule 2: Never talk about Beer Ride.
    I hope we don’t have to organise an intervention.
    kind regards
    Mr BIg Mike

  7. Unknown

    Oh man.  You are in for it!  It will take some time, but she will eventually get over it.  Your life will be hell until then, but it will pass. This reminds me of the time I bought an indoor bike.  Due to a medical condition, it’s not safe for me to ride long distances outside.  I was missing my endurance rides.  At the bike store, I had an epiphany.  They sell indoor bikes.  Indoor bikes with power meters and heart rate monitors.  Indoor bikes that mimic the riding position of my outdoor bike.  Indoor bikes that you can hook up to your laptop and keep track of your training.  This wonderful device would allow me to train to my heart’s content.  Not the same as being outdoors, but certainly better than nothing, I thought.  And $1900 was such a small price to pay for my happiness.  I bought it!  Right on the spot.   My husband did not see it quite the same way.  He did not share my joy.  It took him six months to show any interest the bike other than to bring up the outlandish cost.  $1900 for a bike that doesn’t GO ANYWHERE?  That was all he could be heard muttering every time I rode it.  Six months have passed.  The weather is turning cooler, and he is finally warming to MY bike.  I’ve already warned him, he will have to get his own.  

  8. barry1021

    -So back to my original problem: how did this happen?-
    Geez B4L, you were the ONLY one that didn’t see it coming!!! You might as well of had a sign flashing on your forehead "BUYER! BUYER"!
    <<how I can tell my wife this tale I have just told you?>>
    Take a saw to the downtube of your old bike, don’t make it look like a clean cut. Then print out a copy of FC’s story about his frame failure at 50MPH. Make a good "honey, I could have DIED" speech. And NEVER show her the receipt.

  9. Lofgrans

    First, my real advise:
    Bring home some lovely flowers. They can’t cost much ’cause you just spent a ton, but they can’t be cut out of a yard because that’s cheap, something colorful and varied.
    Give someone to watch the kids for the evening and give your wife the best massage you can possibly muster.
    Here is where the advise that sounds good but won’t actually help you at all comes in:
    Somewhere in the moments where she’s very relaxed and very grateful and just about to drift off you mention something about an investment- that is how my husband refers to it- and ideally she’ll be too blissful to argue about it and save it for tomorrow. With a bit of luck tomorrow she’ll have slept on it, decided that you are a man and prone to such idosyncrasies, and just roll her eyes and start asking you for a few more favors than usual which you of course will jump to fulfill as you know you’ve just been royally let off the hook.
    That’s how it goes when Bob buys something new anyway. At least he works at a shop and gets wholesale so the rolling of the eyes and favors stage comes a little sooner.
    Good luck!
    P.S. Play very humble, grateful, and apologetic. Recognize your wife for the magnanamous Goddess that she is- this should go without saying.

  10. bradley

    Even if she doesn’t ride, run out and buy her a bike that at least looks as good as your new one. Bring it home and tell her you’ve always wanted to ride bikes with her and now she has no excuse, that you want to share your love of riding with the person you love most in this world. If she already rides, just make sure it’s an upgrade of some sort. If she’s like my wife, it’s more about how it looks than anything else (not that my wife rides a cruddy bike, but color was important–both of hers are kleins, silver, they match!). Then you can say, "Oh yeah, by the way, I got one too. if  you’re getting a new bike, I figure it’s only fair I should get one too, to keep the marriage all even and such." The only lie will be of omission, that you bought her a bike to save the marriage because it’s worth that much to you, saving the marriage that is, not getting a new bike. Not worth so much that you wouldn’t not buy the bike in the first place mind you, that you wouldn’t even discuss it with her before hand. Noooooo, not that, but at least the marriage is worth trying to save after you’ve sinned so heinously. Then, well, maybe you should prepare for a dry spell, with lots of time to ride the new bike. If all else fails, you could return the bike, assuming you want to see the kids again.

  11. Unknown

    I purchased a Pinarello about a year ago. I say "about" becuase on the one year anniversary of said purchase I will be reminded. The worst part is when my riding friends try to explain to her the deal I got on it. Did you know that Orbea is Spanish for "no more sex"?

  12. Unknown

    I think your safest bet and most persuasive argument is to use the fitness / exercise angle.  Every minute you’re on your bike is a minute you’re improving your fitness, right?  Explain to her that you’ll be compelled to ride that fine set of wheels every chance you get and it won’t be long before you have the body of Lance Armstrong.  If she raises a stink tell her you’ll trade it for a big screen TV and a recliner. 
    Or, you can hide it from her:  A few years ago when I was living in an apartment, my upstairs neighbor hid his purchase of a SUV from his wife for several months.  They both worked two jobs and were rarely in their apartment together.  He could conveniently park the SUV anywhere in the complex–hidden in plain sight among dozens of other cars.  She was none the wiser. 
    They both had the day off one July 4th, and she must have caught him coming or going in the unauthorized vehicle that day or the day before, because they had a fierce argument.  She ripped into him up one side and down the other, threw every item in their apartment at him (including what sounded like four or five bowling balls based on the rattling thud in our apartment below) and finally kicked him out.
    A couple days later the SUV was gone and he was back to driving his beat up old pickup, which he had kept and would occasionally move around as not to blow his cover.

  13. mark

    A few years ago, I went to the store to get a new pair of running shorts and came home with new skis. I was scared to death that it would have some awful repurcussions. To my surprise, she didn’t really mind. However, because I went into the situation with such trepidation, I came out of it with a one year moratorium on purchasing any new gear. Had I gone in penitant but not grovelling, I think I could have avoided the moratorium. One year hence, moratorium was lifted, and I bought a new mountain bike. Unfortunately, I sold it four months later to buy an even better new mountain bike, which resulted in "no new bikes until you buy me a grand piano." Given that grand pianos cost as much as large SUVs or small houses, I’m glad I like the bikes I have.
    I guess my point is to not go in with too much fear or you may end up worse off than you would have been. Just state the facts matter of factly (after delivering the flowers and while you’re giving the massage) and be ready with what you’re willing to do to make it up to her. But spending additional money before you know you need to may make matters worse.
    Good luck, and be sure to let us know what happens.

  14. Born4Lycra

    Well here’s the update. Still married and still got the bike. I fessed up and was reminded by her response why I married her 24 years ago.  Having said that there was some valuable advice given that may come in handy down the line and I thank you all. My daughter Dana keeps laughing at me with an evil chuckle so I assume Sal has plans for some balance later in the year. Ah well whats yin without yang.  Oh yes by the way also as Sal has since pointed it’s a vento not a venta!
    Cheers all.

  15. BIg Mike In Oz

    KeepYerBag – What manly man in their right mind wants a body like Lance Armstrong?  And what woman wants a man with a body like Lance either?  I mean, really, he’s got one nut and a permanent frown.  How do you package that so it sells (no you can’t wrap him in $100’s even though the real Lance could afford it).

  16. Katie

    As a female who’s partner comes home with expensive crap most days of the week, I’ve learnt to get "selective memory". I will only remember he bought that stuff when I need to convince him that I need new gym gear. 🙂
    And can anyone tell me how to type faster with a broken finger? Damned basketball.

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