Like you, I have been fortunate to own more bikes than I needed, more bikes than I reasonably ought, and more bikes than a sane person might want to pay for in two lifetimes. That’s ok. I loved them all, even the ones that weren’t very good.
I didn’t need the BMX bike that I bought after my first son was born. I had the idea that he would be riding his 20″ wheels up and down our dead end street and that I could get back into BMX by riding up and down with him. I imagined myself honing all those skills I had when I was 10. In reality, I wrenched my shoulder pretty badly on my first ride, showing him how to wheelie. That hurt for about 6 months. I sold that bike the following year.
For the longest time, there was always a next bike in my mind. Sometimes that bike was a bike I already had, say a road bike, but different. I wanted one of those Saeco Cannondale road bikes in red and yellow for a long time for no good reason. I had three road bikes at the time. Sometimes that bike lived in another genre, like when I spent two years shopping for a cruiser. Does that sound like the behavior of a sane, grown man?
We’ve all made the n+1 joke, where n is the number of bikes we own currently and n+1 is the number we think is ideal. The joke only stops being funny when you never let go of any bikes and you shift from enthusiast to collector to hoarder, a TV crew perched by your basement door, unable to walk into the space for fear of treading on something valuable and/or getting tetanus.
There is some bit of cycling motivation that lives in the urge for a new bike though. For all the minutes and hours that accumulate in the saddle, turning over the pedals and little bits of dissatisfaction with the machine beneath us, an idea for something better germinates.
Right now I have a short list of new bikes in mind, topped by a dual-suspension mountain bike. I’m not convinced I need that bike, but I am convinced I want it. I’d also like a vintage three-speed and maybe a new gravel bike. I have no room for those bikes. Except in my heart.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what is your next bike? What category? What type? What color? What brand? And what’s keeping you from getting it? Time? Money? Space?
Image: Curbside Classic