***It’s the week between Christmas and New Yr’s Day. I’m not formally running a blog and this isn’t a submit. That is simply us hanging round and speaking.***
The Nice Lob On Excessive has richly blessed me. Along with being lucky in all the same old methods (loving household, free nation, streaming TV, all that stuff) I’ve acquired quite a lot of bikes–greater than I ever might have dreamed of proudly owning within the days earlier than I turned a semi-professional bike blogger. I journey all of them, too, although in fact some get extra use than others.
However worldly possessions could be a burden, too; simply ask your native Buddhist monk. Extra bikes means extra selections, however it additionally means extra over which to fuss. Then there’s the matter of area. I’ve acquired extra of that than numerous metropolis dwellers, however housing all these bikes could be a problem, and generally I really feel like an alcoholic hiding booze in the bathroom tank. A big everlasting assortment additionally means when Basic Cycle sends me a new (or not-so-new) bike to play with I’ve acquired to determine a option to get a thirteenth egg into the carton.
So with the 12 months winding down I discover myself considering the concept of proudly owning fewer bicycles. To make sure, I might by no means get it right down to only one; that’s one thing I discovered the exhausting method. There’s a distinction between working lean and depriving your self, and I’m within the former, not the latter. At first I requested myself, “Which bikes would I be prepared do away with?,” however I noticed this was the incorrect option to ask the query, since if there was a compelling motive to do away with any of them I might have achieved it by now.
So then I requested myself, “Which bikes would I completely must maintain?,” which is sort of the identical factor, however totally different sufficient that I might truly start to reply it. So listed here are absolutely the keepers:
I might by no means do with out at the very least one correct highway bike. For all of the gravel bikes and “alt” bikes and no matter else the youngsters are into today, I say probably the most versatile bike continues to be a highway bike. Unpaved trails will be distant, or in the event that they’re shut they are often too muddy or snowy to journey relying on the climate and the time of 12 months. However there’s all the time a highway, and normally it’s proper out your entrance door, which suggests whether or not you’re seeking to journey for an hour or 10 hours all it’s a must to do is step exterior and go. And naturally a highway bike with clearance for fattish tires may also take you onto trails and do most of what right this moment’s “gravel” bikes do. I’ll all the time have a conventional highway bike, and it stands to motive that if I’m going to have one conventional highway bike it must be one with medium- or long-reach brakes.
The Milwaukee rides like a race bike however is flexible sufficient to deal with diversified terrain, it’s traditional but fashionable, and it seems nice since its makeover–although I favored the best way it appeared earlier than too:
It’s acquired type of a “classic” really feel in the meanwhile with the downtube shifters, but when I wished it to really feel extra fashionable once more that’s only a easy matter of placing on some built-in shifters. I don’t assume any fashionable highway or gravel bike has something on it. It’s a keeper, no query.
Lately I most likely cut up my biking time 50/50 between clipless pedals and flat pedals, and the Homer might be probably the most versatile and satisfying of all my flat pedal bikes. With the drop bars it’s principally a highway bike, however with the fenders and racks and different accoutrements it’s all the time prepared for commuting obligation and errand-running, and naturally it’s acquired the clearance and tire quantity to deal with gentle off-roading. Additionally, its extraordinarily comfy, it may be configured in innumerable methods, it’s suitable with a lot of the contents of my spare components bin, and whereas this stuff are clearly subjective I believe it’s a lovely body. It’s not going anyplace ever.
The Platypus is the perfect counterpart to the Homer. In a method the Homer doesn’t want a counterpart because it’s so versatile, although the Platypus is equally versatile. No, it’s not as suited to the sporty highway finish of the spectrum, however it’ll do dust trails extra readily than the Homer, and with the basket and baggage and swept bars it’s prepared for 50-mile rides or household journeys to the park or each with no modifications. Arguably everybody ought to have at the very least one bike with a basket and a step-through body, and when you’re going to have one it’d as effectively even be a high-performance mannequin that’s up for all however probably the most “aggressive” driving on any floor. No matter else occurs, the Platypus stays.
Rivendell versatility however far more succesful on the off-road finish of the spectrum, it’s up for any type of mountain biking I’m liable to do at this level in my life, but it’s additionally pleasurable to journey on easy trails and even pavement. Additionally, whereas I could also be keen on traditional components and requirements, I additionally take pleasure in my forays into the world of disc brakes and tubeless tires and clutch derailleurs infrequently, and it’s comforting to know I’ve acquired at the very least one bike whose limitations I’ll by no means discover. I’ve quite a lot of respect for Jeff Jones, and it’s an honor to have one among his bikes.