There are certain things, innocuous facts, that say a lot about your cycling life, like if you own more than three bikes, or if you spend one day a year patching tubes, or if you occasionally make a joke so technically arcane that only another cyclist would be able to decipher your punchline. By gathering a few of these dispositive factoids, I could tell a lot about you as a cyclist.
One great example is tire size. 20 years ago, I was rolling on 23mm, slick tires on the daily. That made me a roadie, even when I was commuting. At that stage I also owned a mountain bike and a cruiser and probably a fixie of some sort, but my go-to bike had 23s.
Today, I’m riding 40mm knobby most of the time. That makes me, primarily, a gravel guy. I still ride the road bike some, on 28s, and I have a couple of mountain bikes (29 x 2.25″ & 27.5 x 2.25″), but mostly I’m a 40. Even just looking at those mountain bike tires you can tell I’m more of a carver on the trail than a hucker.
If you look at number of bikes owned, 20 years ago I had somewhere between 8 and 10. I was more of a fetishist, more inclined to dream up reasons to buy “cool” bikes, whereas now I have 5 bikes. At some point I was able to invest in customs, and that meant I didn’t need to cast around for something better all the time. While I miss the excitement of my fetishist period, it’s really nice to know you have exactly the bike you need, although that inevitably turns the finger of blame toward the rider when s/he has a bad day in the saddle.
This TCI Friday asks, how does your go-to bike today differ from your go-to bike from 10 or 20 years ago, and what story does that tell about how your riding has changed? Or, has it not changed very much at all? If not, how are YOU different as a rider? Do you own more or fewer bikes than you did then?