An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

N + 1

I'm a bike addict.
There, I said it. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to getting cured, right?

I have eight bicycles, though not all of them are in a state of complete build, being un-ride-able in their current state.

* Two Softride road bikes, one a custom Paul Barkley in steel, one a custom TiCycles in titanium.
I got the Paul Barkley after test riding a Softride at Kulshan Cycles in Bellingham after a tri there. It was an eye opening experience, to say the least. Within just a few minutes, I was LOOKING for things to ride over. The TiCycles Softride was an attempt to up the cool factor and lighten the bike... and use a good chunk of disposable income. I road raced on these bikes for many years.

* One Softride track/single speed bike.

This is also a custom TiCycles, in steel.After one season on a Torelli track bike, I decided to get the Softride (Marymoor Velodrome isn't the smoothest thing out there). Had it made with 650 wheels (my first 650-wheeled bike) to help with acceleration, and had it drilled for brakes front and rear so I could ride it on the road.

* One tri bike of unknown brand, in titanium.

I bought this one used on the Slowtwitch classifieds, and, rumor has it, it was made for Scott Tinley by Quintana Roo back in the early 90's. I did a LOT of research on bike geometry, my position, fore/aft balance on the bike, and came to the conclusion that there were no production bikes that fit me with my preferred level of stability. I was about to go with another custom frame when this one appeared on the classifieds... It was (and is) a perfect fit.

* One Scott Waimea, set up for road riding.
A few years ago, I tried PowerCranks on my Softride. It was miserable. I sold them within a month. When Frank Day (the brains and shill behind PowerCranks) made a put-up-or-shut-up proposition to 12 ST forum contributors, I threw my hat in the ring and was selected. The idea was that we got the cranks free for a year, to ride exclusively, and report our progress, etc. I was coming off my foot surgery at the time, so I thought they would help me keep some run fitness while I was recovering. I got the Scott as a cheap bike to have the PC's on, avoiding the misery of the Softride/PC experience. When I tried to run again, and couldn't, I kind of lost my incentive to train, and didn't use the PowerCranks. I sent the PC's back, but kept the bike. This one uses 650's also.

* One Javelin X-frame, a project bike that needs some frame work to be road-worthy.

I bought this one as a nod to nostalgia. It's a pretty exotic frame, with a single boom tube from the head tube to the HUGE aero seat tube. It needs some work, though -- the front derailleur hanger is too high, causing me to either need a 58/50 chainring set-up, or have it re-welded. Or maybe a single chainring. Anyway, I've had it on one ride. It's kinda short front-to-back... I may off-load this one.

* One single speed mountain bike.
Picked up a cheap frame off eBay ($3.25 for the frame, $30 shipping). It looks like an old Nishiki Alien, but has no stickers. I'm sure it's a Chinese off-brand, but so far it's doing great kicking around the trails for my lunchtime rides.

* One custom made (though not for me) funny bike.

This one I also got from the SlowTwitch classifieds, made by a contributor that goes by the handle "Bunnyman". I've ridden it a time or two, tested some configurations with it... The fact that it uses two wheel sizes, and has more of a road bike back end makes it not as comfy.

ANYway... I say all this to show how I've accumulated the bikes over the years. I don't have any fancy carbon framed spacey-looking molded pieces of high-tech in my garage. And I really don't want any. I'm fine with what I have.

That N+1 thing? It's the formula for the proper number of bikes to own, where "N" is the number bikes currently owned. "Just one more". That's the sickness of the bike addict. The formula is a joke, really. I have no plans to buy any more bikes (except a road bike for my wife). And I think to justify getting any new bikes I'd have to sell at LEAST one of the bikes I have now. I know I'd take a soaking doing so, and that's probably a big part of the reluctance to follow through with the idea of selling.

I know there are bike addicts out there that put me to shame. Robin Williams is known to walk into a bike shop and buy a bike just because he likes how it looks. Even if the bike doesn't fit. It's art to him. Awesome. I don't have the kind of couch change to do that. And maybe THAT is a good thing. My house is only so big...

So I mentioned I ride a motorcycle? I just sold one (which I bought for my wife to ride). And yes, I've looked at other motorcycles. So far, nothing really calls to me. Good thing, I guess.

Geez, if I though N+1 was expensive with bicycles...

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