How Many Bikes Do You Have?
Get yourself a drink, and settle in. This is a long post.
How many bikes do I have? That is a question that I hear dozens of times a year (if not more). People find out that I am a bicycle enthusiast, and they automatically ask how many I have. I really have never known how to answer that question, though.
For one thing: What constitutes a bike? Do I only count the ready-to-ride examples, completely built up and with air in the tires? Or, do I also count the disassembled (or yet to be assembled) frames and parts that would be a whole bike if they were all attached to each other? How about bare framesets? Are they "bikes".
Usually, I end up giving some long-winded answer about whole bikes/partial bikes/frames...or I just say, "I don't really know."
Recently, I came up with a plan that will allow me to answer that question, without any qualifications.
I have ten bikes:
My criteria for whether or not a bike is a bike:
1. It is complete, with all of the parts.
2. I am planning on keeping it for my own personal use, and it actually gets used.
3. It's not for sale, and not for display (like the Iver Johnson, and the Pink Bike).
Recently, I mentioned on the story blog, that I had a bike plan for next year which would serve two purposes. I will get back to riding for fun, and I will be better able to keep my fitness up and my weight down.
I don't plan on going back to the daily bike commute. That was fun, while I was doing it, but I am over it. I will bike commute, when I feel like it (and as convenient training), but I really want to get back into bicycling as a fun pastime, as well. When I commute every day, I really don't have much desire to go out on the weekends and ride my bikes with my friends. I'd rather do something else, something I haven't already done 10 times that week.
So, my plan for this coming year is simple:
Ten Bikes, Ten Long Rides
I plan to ride each of these bikes on a century ride, at least once, through the course of the next 12 months. If I am riding off-road, I will accept a half century (50 miles) as sufficient, for this goal.
I have a tentative order in which I plan on riding the bikes. Here it is, along with an explanation of why each bike falls in its relative position (subject to change):
1. 2010 Handsome XOXO
This is a relatively easy bike to ride, and I will be in probably the least-fit shape of all for the first ride. So, it makes sense to ride an accommodating bike. Plus, it is relatively new, and I have never done a long ride on it. So, I want to break it in with a century.
2. 1992 Bridgestone XO-2
This is another easy-to-ride bike, and it is a known entity. I have done a few long rides, including more than one century, on this bike and it will be accommodating as my fitness is still in the relatively low range. Plus, I will get to compare it back-to-back to the XOXO, which is a fairly close copy of this bike. It will be interesting to see if I notice a performance difference between the two bikes.
3. Prototype FUNK Titanium Daily Grind
The order may change on this one, because Dave Webb and I are considering doing an organized Gravel Century that one of the shops in Parker puts on.
4. 1989 Specialized RockCombo
Yet another 26"-wheeled bike made with road bike geometry, back in the day. I am thinking that the ride for this bike should entail a preponderance of gravel road. So, if the titanium bike switches out of order to do the organized ride, then this becomes the Spring gravel-ride bike. (If the ti bike stays in order, I will just do two gravel rides in a row.)
5. 1974 Peugeot UO-8 Fixed Gear Conversion
6. 2008 Raleigh XXIX Singlespeed MTB/Monstercross
Hopefully, by the time I get ready to ride this bike, the mountain trails will be snow-free, and I will be able to get a good 50-mile off-road jaunt in.
7. 1988 Specialized RockHopper 700c Fixed Conversion (Snow Bike Commuter)
I will stick some cyclocross tires on it, and probably follow the same route that I ride on the Raleigh, just to see what a difference going from a freewheel to a fixed gear will make.
8. Mid-80s Fuji Touring
9. Late 80s Nishiki Ariel
That is all of the bikes in the picture from the driveway. So, what is the tenth bike?
10. 1995 Rideable Bicycle Replicas Boneshaker
So, that's the plan for getting some fun rides under my belt, increasing my fitness, and utilizing all of my bikes during the riding season. Like I said, all of the plans are flexible. If I get a chance to go to Fruita in March, then the Nishiki Ariel may get used a lot earlier than I have laid it out in this post. Or, if the roads stay snowy late into Spring, then the knobby tired bikes may see paved road action rather than waiting to ride the mountain trails...
Anyway, wish me luck. At my age, I need it!