Looking Out To Sea

How many bicycles is too many?

The saying goes that you always need one more bike than you have. Well, initially I didn’t think I needed a bike at all but that assumption turned out to be wrong1. Since then I’ve been discovering the ways in which my one bikes can help me out. Commuting every day, taking less time and able to carry much more to and from work. Carrying incredible amounts of shopping easily from the supermarket to home. Going on holiday for a week in Islay and Arran entirely under our own steam. Jetting across town to meet people, visit places and get around quickly.

The incredibly serious Rules tell us that we always need another bike and I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that when you own 1 bike you probably need 2. (I will hold off judgement on the full implication.) My current bike plays the role of the generalist very well but I’m looking to specialise a bit. My long term plan is essentially to split my current bike into two bikes — one playing the role of the heavy duty workhorse that will let me get the shopping, take a full load of panniers on the road and be equipped for long journeys. The other would play the role of something light and simple for local riding, when I just want to jump on the bike and go.

I’ve been conscious for some time that I don’t get to wear some of my clothes when I’m cycling. Cycling wear ends up meaning technical wear when I leave the house and I want to stop that. I don’t walk to the shops with hiking boots and a pole so why should I cycle with the equivalent? Now that’s not to say I actually do wear lycra to hop on the bike

To that end I’ve been looking at something a bit minimalist and more stylish. It doesn’t always have to be about hard work, after all. I really like the idea of slim single-speed bike with none of the mess that I have on my current bike to spoil the look. I fear in practise that things like weather, luggage, lights and so on will minimise the extent to which this can be achieved. We don’t all live in California… but I’ve been putting some thought to what it would mean if we did.

  1. How did I go so long living in Edinburgh without a bike? Why did nobody grab me by the shoulders and tell me I was missing out? Getting the bus seemed a reasonable way to move around when I wasn’t just walking.