Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bike Envy

I stumbled onto Nate's blog and found a pic of his stunning Kogswell G85 fixie. I don't need another bike. I especially don't need another randoneering bike. I love my Volae and I can tell we will be doing great things together in 2007. But, I must be honest with you, I am jealous of Nate's bike. It's elegant, simple and so functional - not to mention drop dead gorgeous.

When I built up my Surly LHT I was hoping to build up a classic randoneering bike. My LHT is a great bike, but I have come to realize I will never own a bike like Nate's. It is just not possible for me to have such a bike. All the big and little choices I make when buying and outfitting a bike result in a whole different beast. My bikes are machines. They are functional and reliable, but often complex. Some of them are cool in a techno-geek sort of way, but they are not elegant nor beautiful. Often they look cobbled together from various bits I found effective.

A simple, but telling example of how I go astray with my bikes is my Carradice Barley saddle bag. I initially had it attached directly to my Brooks saddle. That is a simple classic setup - leather saddle, waxed cotton saddle bag attached with leather straps. Of course that didn't last long. I ended up using a Carradice SQR saddle bag rack with my LHT. This system lets me remove my saddle bag with the press of the button - a very nice feature when I want to go into a store or if I want to just use my rear rack and panniers. The downside is it ruins the classic look of the saddle and saddle bag. It looks Frankenstein-ish, but it works great. And no matter what bikes I covet, the fact is I like bikes that are a mish mash of the best bits I can find - style be damned!

1 comment:

bmike said...

Nate does have a cool bike... and writes well about the spirit of randonneruring. Perhaps part of this spirit is gear / bike / technique lust. I'm always looking at better ways to do things, even if the way I'm doing things seems to be working. And I'm always looking at bikes. Old bikes, new bikes, race bikes, retro bikes, 3 speeds, single speeds, and fixies, and even recumbents. With 5 bikes in the garage I think I'm at the limit. I can only ride 1 at a time!. I think your bike lust is normal.... just try to love what you ride, and ride what you love.