It’s a call I get too often. “Someone broke into my garage and stole all my bikes,” he said. Starting over. He’d lost a Madone of some stripe, a custom Davidson from way back, a handful of other nice bikes. They were all Campy. He was a Campy guy. I’ve had bikes stolen before, but I’ve never had ALL my bikes stolen. I know the anger and blood lust that comes from losing an everyday rider. I’ve loaned bikes to people who’ve had them stolen, and I know the complicated feelings that begets. But all of them?
“It’s odd,” he said. “There is that feeling of violation from having your home broken into, and more than the monetary value, the sentimental value of some of those bikes, some of which I had for a long time. But there’s also the blank slate.”
In all of the calls I’ve received about stolen bikes, all of the stories I’ve heard, this is the first time the completely blank slate idea has presented itself.
“I’m doing Shimano bikes this time. I’m doing disc brakes. I’m doing more metal, less carbon. I just feel like this is a chance to see what’s out there,” he said.
Very quickly I went from feeling sorry for him to being somewhat envious. It pointed out to me how much cycling baggage I carry. How many decisions I’ve made about the bikes I have now, based on bikes I already had or bikes I’d once had. And forget about the frames, what about drive trains? Pedals? What would I do in his situation?
This week’s Group Ride asks, what would you do with a blank slate? Would you get the bikes you have now all over again? Would you cross the Shimano/Campy/SRAM divide in one direction or another? Would you go to electronic shifting or disc brakes? Would you have more of one kind of bike and fewer of another? Assuming an insurance company is covering the tab, what would you do?