TCI Friday

I am over-biked. That’s a term I just made up, and it means that I have nicer bikes than my talent, speed, stamina, etc. could ever justify. That’s if you believe that you need to be able to justify your bikes, which, truth be told, I don’t. Bicycle apportionment isn’t based on merit. It never has been. Bikes are doled out to people according to their means, yes, but also their willingness to invest in cycling and the equipment that goes along with it.

Bikes are major part of my life, and because I work in the industry, I have had access to some of the very best bikes available at or below cost. I’ve still plowed plenty of my own money in, especially as a percentage of my income (also adjusted downward by my choice of industry). The result is not great fiscal wealth, but an almost unimaginable bicycle bounty.

Meanwhile, the world is full of riders who are under-biked, sometimes because they lack the means and/or sponsorship, and sometimes because they just don’t see the point in levelling their technology. They’re already rad. What do they need a newer/better bike for?

You know who is rad? This guy. If anyone is having more fun than he is, I haven’t met them yet.

I have regularly had my ass handed to me by someone who was under-biked, which goes to show that strength, fitness, and skills are more valuable than technology most days. I don’t let it bother me too much. I’ve put in my time. I’ve probably written close to half-a-million words about bikes and cycling in the last decade plus. I need all the bike I can get.

My friend Stevil recently alerted me to RADshare, which is one organization trying to level up some local youth, but there are a plethora of groups doing the good work. If you know of one local to you, fire a link into the comments, ESPECIALLY if you, like me, are already over-biked yourself.

That, in fact, is this week’s TCIF. Are you over-biked? Or under-biked? Don’t be falsely modest, either. I know some of you are hot shit riders. Say your name. Be proud. The rest of you (us, really), it’s ok. We have what we have because we’ve committed our time, and money, to what we love. There is nothing wrong with that.

Join the conversation
  1. khal spencer says

    Friend of mine who I used to teach with at the U of Hawaii put it best: “When we had legs, we had no money. Now that we have money, we have no legs.”

    1. DaveinME says

      Khal nails it. I could only wish to have had what I have now when I was young and fast. I still ride pretty fast, but I have to ration my efforts to account for recovery.
      I have no problem with spending my money on cycling gear. It is my one true passion and spending money on it to get the most out of it is a no-brainer for me.

    2. khal spencer says

      To answer directly, most of my fleet is prosaic and ancient by today’s Bicycling Magazine’s Latest Shiny Object standard. An ’05 mountain bike with gasp, 26 inch wheels. A Six-Thirteen with full Chorus and a CAAD-5 with various sundry bits I built up out of whatever was on sale. Both bought as framesets. A Co-Motion tandem and two older bikes, a Long Haul Trucker and Salsa LaCruz, that were my daily drivers to work until we moved to Santa Fe. I did splurge on one new bike last year, a Litespeed Gravel which relegated the LaCruz to city duty, so I guess I am over-biked. But given I’ve been deeply into cycling since about 1982**, I can rationalize all of it. At 67, I can still hold a 140-150 bpm ride for hours and pop well over 160 bpm on a climb. I’m more half-fast than fast, but it feels good.


  2. tcfrog says
    It’s a group that works to increase cycling access to kids in northern Michigan. They also run camps during summer to teach biking skills, and have a bike library which kids can borrow from.

  3. khal spencer says

    Question to TCI or anyone here. We had that bike buying boom last year. Are more people still on bikes? Anyone know?

  4. Dan Murphy says

    HA! Grossly over-biked – practically my whole adult life. I could be the definition of over-biked.

    I just lusted over nice bikes since I was a kid, they looked so cool and beautiful. When I was young and scraping by, I couldn’t afford any car I lusted over (hello early 80’s Porsche Cabriolet), but a nice bike was within reach. When it came to sports equipment, my *ahem* frugality went out the window – no messing around. Plus, bikes last. I rode my Merlin for 18 years before replacing it (though I still have it). What’s another $1000 over 18 years? Or $2000?

    Yup, guilty.

  5. Jeff vdD says

    Overbiked in quantity and in a few instances quality. That’s as measured by ability. Measured by passion? Underbiked. Which is also how I prefer to ride the terrain I prefer to ride.

  6. Barry Johnson says

    Proportionally biked. Both by ability and passion. I ride sensible, well made and maintained whips which create a symbiotic relationship with my body affording it the same stature, more or less with a slight margin of error due to age and a penchant for fine rubber.

  7. TominAlbany says

    When my Serotta was new (’99), I was overbiked. 22 years later, the same Serotta is vintage, sorta like me.

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