TCI Friday

I never thought I’d get to this place, which is my basement. Wide pine stairs lead down. Too bright LED lighting, courtesy of the hack electrician in residence. A white linoleum tile floor, like an old hospital or grade school. A diabolically random collection of shelving, some wooden and classy and nice, some listing at concerning angles. And there in the corner, beneath the circuit panel, a rack full of bikes.

In New England, where I live, subterranean spaces were made to store root vegetables and apples, but in the days since basement floors stopped being dirt, I’d argue their divinely prescribed purpose is to store bicycles.

What makes my basement so improbable, so beautiful in its harsh lighting and utilitarian fittings, is that the bike rack there holds all the bikes I need. Literally. There they are, the road bike, the gravel bike, the mountain bike, the fixed gear townie. A complete set, and not a one with a weakness that has me dreaming of something new.

Of course I still dream about bikes. I cogitate and consider. Force of habit. An open mind to the magic of a new set of wheels. Not need. Not even really want.

To say I am fortunate in this regard would be obtuse. I am blessed, both by the means at my disposal, despite a decade in the bike business, and by a cadre of friends who helped me design these bikes and then went off and built them for me. Is there a better word than blessed? Empyrean? Cosmically anointed?

Don’t worry. I won’t let it go to my head. Much.

When I think about adding bikes to the basement rack, I think about an eBike for errand running, a vehicle that won’t demand sweat for short trips in hot weather. I think about a flat bar gravel bike, just whimsically. And I think about bikes for my wife and kids, which is actually an even more indulgent daydream, because those bikes would hardly get ridden.

I don’t think I’ve acquired my last bicycle. I just turned 49. I’m a furry whelp yet. At some point I’ll buy a flying bike surely. The future has to arrive at some point.

This week’s TCIF asks, how close are you to having the perfect collection of bikes? If you’re missing something important, what is it? If you’re already there, what can you possibly see adding?

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  1. tcfrog says

    I’ve got a road, gravel, and fat tire bike, along with an e-cargo bike and belt drive commuter. I don’t think I need to add any bikes to my stable, but there are times I think about upgrading one or other of my rides.

  2. TominAlbany says

    My quiver:
    Road bike: 1998 Serotta CTi. Rim brakes. 9 speeds. Titanium frame. It doesn’t really need replacing. I wonder about a new road bike just to try the new tech and geometries a bit. But, that frame will outlast the human race if someone lets it.
    MtB: 2001 Trek Fuel ’98. In dire need of replacement. Full bounce with so-so shock life. V-brakes. Tubes in the tires. 26″ wheels. This is really where I want new because the technology has made this bicycle inferior on so many levels. That said, I still ride it in the woods and generally leave with a grin on my face.
    CX/Gravel: 2014(?) Blue Norcross – I purchased this bike used. Hence, the ?. This bike filled a gap I’d been wanting to fill for a number of years. I wanted to try CX and also mixed-surface riding. Purchased two years ago, it’s been lots of fun, even if I’ve only done one CX ITT and only limited mixed-surface riding.

    The only thing I’d consider adding is a bike to use to run errands. Right now, that’s the MtB and I can only do small errands. But I’ve got no real desire there right now. Three feels right.

    The rest of the family each have a bike and they seem happy enough and have never mentioned wanting a second.

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