I said, “I only have one bike.”

January 22, 2016 § 41 Comments

And that means you are insane. At least that’s what my friend was thinking, because he said, in the most normal tone of voice, “I have seven bikes.”

No one asked him why. Everyone turned to me, though, and wanted more information about this odd behavior of mine.

With a few exceptions, I’ve always had one bike, thanks to Scott Dickson, he of the multiple Paris-Brest-Paris victories. “It’s impossible to ride more than one bike at a time,” he said back in 1983. I’ve yet to see him proven wrong.

He also looked down his nose at multiple bikes because, “You’ll cannibalize the one to keep the other running, ending up with only one bike anyway.”

But there were a few brief times when I had multiple bikes. From 1992-2000 I had my blue Eddy Merckx and a silver Bridgestone with baskets, a baby seat, and fenders. In 2000 I briefly owned a mountain bike along with my red Masi. The mountain bike left and I picked up a great deal on a 7-11 Eddy Mercxk to go with the Masi. Sure enough, I cannibalized the Masi, then sold both for a Specialized SL3.

For three years I had a Giant TCX to go with my Giant TCR. Then I got rid of the TCX and am back down to one bike. Now, however, with a new club and a new bike sponsor, it’s about time to retire the Giant TCR and get a new bike.

So I will have to sell my Giant. “Why not keep the Giant as a back-up?” my buddy asked. “You never know when you’re going to, uh, crash … ” he gazed at my crooked hip.

“No room for the spare bike.”

“Move to a bigger apartment.”

“Too cheap.”

“Make your wife get a job.”

“Divorce is even more expensive than a new bike.”

“Hmmm,” he said. “Do your other friends know you only have one bike? That’s weird.”

“I don’t know.”

“Don’t tell them,” he counseled. “No one will want to ride with you anymore.”

“Really?”

“Fact. One bike = subversive. You’re probably anti-military, right?”

“Well, yes.”

“See, I knew it. Do you like Bernie Sanders?”

“He makes a lot of sense.”

“Uh-huh. Free college and healthcare for everyone, paid for with unicorn farts?”

“Yes!”

“That’s your problem. You’re treating bicycles as an example of needless consumerism. You probably only have two cars.”

“One.”

“Oooooh. That’s bad. Prius?”

“Yeah.”

“Damn. Are any of your kids gay?”

“I don’t think so. But I wouldn’t care if they were.”

“You definitely need a couple more bikes.”

“But why?”

“Because it will kind of, you know, cover your tracks. With seven bikes no one will think you’re a commie lefty Sanders unicorn farter. They’ll think you’re a Republican.”

“They will?”

“Sure. I’ll even get you one of the made-in-China Trump hats that says ‘Buy American!'”

“But whatever on earth for? I hate Trump.”

“Of course you do. But it’s better that your friends think you’re a Trump guy than that you only have one bike. Trust me.”

“Okay,” I said. “I will.”

END

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§ 41 Responses to I said, “I only have one bike.”

  • I would pay good money to the Sethi Davidson New Bike Fund just to see you sporting a Trump hat 😮😮😮

  • Brian in VA says:

    I’m with you, WM! And I have plenty of room for a fleet. I just can’t make myself own more than one at a time and watch the others sit there,looking jealously at the one being ridden. Makes me wonder what the other do to it at night…..

  • dangerstu says:

    Potentially more incendiary than yesterday’s post in some quarters. The only argument for multiple bikes is if they do different things, road/mtb/cross. Having said that my F3X is so good a second set of wheels with road tires would eliminate my need for my Tarmac.
    But hey some one has to keep starving bicycle shop employees gainfully employed.

  • channel_zero says:

    I graduated to two. One full suspension mtb because I’m old and a CX bike with two sets of wheels. IMO, it’s ideal. Needs more carbon.

    How’s that BWR training plan coming? I got off the couch last week and only turned 6.0 w/k. The power meter must be broken.

    Help a brother out! I need to sharpen up a week or two before the slaughter…. uhhh party.

  • TomH says:

    ” … I’ve always had one bike … ‘ It’s impossible to ride more than one bike at a time, ‘ he said back in 1983 ”

    Continuing that line of reasoning, you can only wear one pair of underwear or shoes, at a time … I suppose it’s not strictly ‘impossible’ to get thru life with 1 underwear or pants … but it’s not especially desirable in modern society 😉

    • fsethd says:

      I have two pairs of jeans because every three months one of them is being washed. My bike is never out commission due to laundry day …

  • Winemaker says:

    Since 1977 I have had two bikes….a winter bike (fenders and all that shit) and a road bike….both got use, But what you really need is two sets of wheels…one for training and one for racing…oh wait, that was when we raced on tubulars, and the 28 hole SSC’s with Cx’s were kept pristine….There used to be a story goin’ round (way back when) about Skarin riding steel rims to train on,,,made the race wheels seem even faster….don’t know if that was true. A TT bike meant taking the water bottles off. One track bike oh, those events aren’t run anymore, sorry…but always had two sets of track wheels, too (one set for general racing (36 hole) and one set for kilos and pursuits (28 hole)…oh, wait again…I think one isn’t allowed to ride the track these days if one rides the road…aren’t they mutually exclusive?

    When my kids got old enough to race something other than their Huffy Barbie and GI Joe bikes in the cul-de-sac, I threw them a pair of running shoes and shorts, and told them to go out for cross country….cheaper that way. I wonder how that Swan guy keeps his kids in bikes and clothes and stuff…must have a trust fund.

  • BigBug says:

    Wow, this one is almost a subscription ender. I have too many friends with [more than one bike], who got their education because of [having more than one bike].

    • fsethd says:

      Please [don’t go].

    • fsethd says:

      What really hurts me aren’t the subscription enders, it’s the people who end subscriptions they never even started. That hurts. To think of all the money I’m not going to make in the future that I’m not making now … sleepless nights, bro.

      • BigBug says:

        what?!?!? This blog is about life and how it looks from the point-of-view of its author?!?! How fracking dare you. You have to say things I agree with or I’m going to look away!!!! Also, no more than ten consecutive words may be written before the word “bike” appears or I’m going to look away. Starting next time maybe.

      • fsethd says:

        I know, I know. Since everything here is science-based and supported by data and research, it does tend to take folks by surprise when I make statements that haven’t been peer reviewed and published.

        On an unrelated note, I’m going to quit going to my favorite local brewery because he has some employees who don’t agree with everything I say and they never ask me for fashion advice.

        However, since I don’t drink beer I’m going to not pay him any of the money I wasn’t going to not pay him anyway. So fuck that dude.

  • BigBug says:

    You do realize we still have troops in Germany and Japan [with just one bike] right? Obama pulled out early [because he has many bikes] and ISIS is now his baby. It is true we deposed both governments in months. We did not properly manage the aftermath. For you to say our guys can’t fight is utter complete bullshit [on one bike].

  • dirtmistress says:

    I have a ridiculous number of bikes in my garage. I’ve been trying to sell a very nice Intense Tracer for two years now. It’s a 26r. That’s mountain bike talk meaning, out of date, take it to the dump. Nobody buys my bike stuff that I try to sell and I hate selling shit anyway, so bikes and parts continue to accumulate in my garage. I’m also trying to sell an old small Burley tandem. A few hundred for that. Don’t be silly! I’m not using your blog to try and sell some of my bikes that are in very good condition at an excellent price. I don’t think I’ll ever own just one or two bikes.

  • shano says:

    glad to see you’re back on point and talking sense. Except that one bike thing which is totally deviant (not that theres any thing wrong with that!)
    Interesting point about the ‘more than 1 pair of underwear’ argument. Must cereberalize…

    And furthermore, due to the most-awesome “LIAR” post I am proud to be a non-non-subscriber – so am I allowed to make subscription-ender comments or is there a probationary period involved???

    • fsethd says:

      I’m pretty sure that it’s open season for all, subscribers, non-subscribers, not-yet-subscribers, and especially not-yet-and-not-going-to-be subscribers.

  • sibex9591 says:

    I only need one bike to kick as much ass as can be kicked, including my own.

  • LesB says:

    There’s a mathematical formula to determine how many bikes a person needs:

    (Number of bikes you have) – (number of your bikes with tires not inflated right now at this moment) = (number of bikes you really need)

    Upon inspection one can spot an error in the formula, as it assumes a sane person and were talking cyclists here

  • Helicomatic says:

    Not opposed to the thesis. Although citing Megamiler as your authority undermines your argument. Only Dogbait is cheaper than Scott. But if clothing skinflintiness in a higher-minded rationale lets us sleep at night I’m all four it.

  • Tamar T. says:

    I only have one ROAD bike. I do admit that having TWO MTB bikes is indulgent, but I figure it’s healthier than heroin (though not necessarily cheaper).

  • ezpc1 says:

    Nooooo…never wear the trump hat ….bike numbers or no.
    I have 3 bikes and I agree that I only ever use the one..but I built the other two from parts and have had crazy adventures on them in the past (London to Amsterdam in 3 days, cross country coast to coast tours etc) and can’t bear to part with them…oh hum….

  • A-Trav says:

    Don’t get me started on the tandem. I told the guy I bought it from I was going to ride it with my wife. He hands it down from the hooks to me and says, “Good luck with that”.
    And when I mentioned “We” were going to ride it to my dad he said, “Do you have a mouse in your pocket?”
    It hangs there still. Mocking me.

  • […] And it’s better to have people think you’re a Trump supporter than let them know you only have one bike. […]

  • Peter says:

    Definitely put a smile on my face.

    Personally, I have two. My “serious riding/commuting bike” and a Huffy for trips that are a bit too long to walk but not far enough to be “serious.”

  • EricW says:

    I have two bikes. Just enough.

    The beater one generally doesn’t leave Santa Monica, and nobody thinks of stealin it. The other usually does leave Santa Monica, and I don’t let it out of my sight.

    Also have two tux – and have’nt had the occasion to wear one yet.

    I suppose it a matter of perspective. I don’t want, need, or even desire more bikes or projects. I have enough.

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