I often have friends and co-workers approach me for advice on buying a new bicycle. This is a little bit like approaching Buzz Aldrin for advice on space travel. So much of what I say to them makes no sense, because our contexts are starkly different. I come from Planet Bicycle. They come from Planet Earth.
Once I’m done issuing forth with a quick discursive on componentry and frame materials, which sounds to them like, “bloop, blorg, bleep,” I end up saying what I really believe, which is, “You should buy the bike that you think looks the best.” The truth, in my opinion, is that for non-bicycle people, most bikes are just the same. This is certainly true at the lower price points they are usually considering. The materials and components on offer are so similar that choosing among them becomes awfully difficult unless you’re willing to abandon yourself to aesthetics.
It might seem as though I don’t take their requests very seriously, but quite to the contrary, what I really, really wish for is to convert this unsuspecting earthling into a bike person. I want them to fall in love with their bike and with cycling, and become one of us.
And like any love, it starts with attraction. The paint is as crucial as the cranks. Believe it.
And so this week’s Group Ride is about the bikes that we think look best. I’ve posted some of my favorites here. What are yours?