There is a saying amongst cyclist: The correct number of bikes one should own is N + 1. Meaning, take a look at how many bikes you have now (the ‘n’ in the equation) then go out and buy another one.
I know many people who have different bikes for different seasons, weather, purposes and whims. They can pick the one they want for any given ride. That aint me…
I have one (count em) one bike. My Specialized Tri-Cross…
I bought it in 2013 to replace the original Specialized Tri Cross that was stolen.
(Still a dark and sad day in Mountainstroh history…..)
I originally chose this bike as it was a jack of all trades. It can handle rough roads, and even some very light off-road, it can be set up for touring/commuting, and is a great road bike. Being a
Cheap SOB Ummm Frugal individual, I liked the versatility it gave me.
But as I sat here this evening, perusing my favorite Facebook bike page, I saw a post asking how many bikes people owned. I looked over at my bike (which lives IN the house with Michelle and I) and started thinking about the last 3 years I’ve had this bike.
Since purchasing it, I have completed 3 of the toughest rides of my life:
Crater Lake Century
My Second one day STP (in 97 Degree weather)
And the Mother Bear of them all RAMROD!
Together, these rides only add up to only 450 miles of the almost 10,000 this bike and I have completed together. But each of the three took everything I had. I crossed the finishing of each completely spent, very happy I rode, but DAMN glad the ride was over!
In short, as I put in the Facebook post, this bike and I have been to hell and back!
I know this next part might be a stretch, but bear with me….
I was raised reading Westerns written by Louis L’amour. In his book I learned the value of a great horse. It becomes one with the rider, it can read his thoughts, and no matter what, it will always bring you home.
I will tell you here and now this bike is the same way. I have been halfway up Cayuse Pass in 95 degree heat, after riding 8o miles a killer climbs. The brain was fuzzy, the legs were tired and the heart was thinking “WTF dude! Who’s STUPID idea was this???” The bike kept climbing. I swear it gave me half again what I shoulda expected for each crank of the pedals.
When I was at 175 miles on the STP, it followed the Dan Henry markings on the road
And let me keep concentrating on keeping the legs moving! We made it to the finish line without getting lost.
Most importantly, on any given day, it transports me to a place where all stress disappears, fresh air clears all cobwebs, and I am teleported back in time to when riding a bike made me feel like this.
This single bike meets my needs, makes me happy and will carry me as far and as fast as I need it to go.
So where many riders will say the correct number of bikes is N + 1, my answer is simply 1. The bike that has carried me to hell and back, the one that always brings me home and the one helps me reach every goal I set for myself.
Yep, it truly is a gift from the cycling gods!
Like the wind!