New bike lust

There’s nothing like spending a week with hundreds of other cyclists on a week long ride to invoke new bike lust.

Here’s all of us at the start of the Friends for Life Bike Rally:

Basically, over the course of a week you notice all the subtle ways your bike isn’t quite perfect for the task at hand. On the day of our slow, sweep ride (see Sweeping in the rain, or is it mopping? Day 5 of the Bike Rally) we had lots of time to talk and a teammate confessed that she’d started to think of her bike as her first road bike. Like starting to think of your spouse as your first spouse, this can be a dangerous thing, the fast track to the divorce courts or the bike shop depending.

I wasn’t thinking of replacing my road bike. It’s already a 3rd upgrade from the first road bike I owned. My thoughts were more in terms of adding to the fleet.

Of course, an advantage of bikes that’s not there in most spousal arrangements is that addition is generally okay. See How many bikes is too many? In the past I’ve had my eye on cargo bikes and fashionable cruising bikes but this is the first time I’ve wanted a road touring bike.

Let me explain why:

The road bike I took on the trip has a bunch of features that aren’t that useful on a long moderately paced ride. It accelerates quickly, for one. It’s super fast and light (even if I’m not!) And it handles responsively at speed.

It’s a totally lovely bike bit it feels a bit like a delicate flower next to all the Surly long haul truckers and their ilk. Something sturdy and steel might be more suitable.

It also has Look pedals and shoes with Look cleats which are pretty impossible to walk around in at break.

Other than the teeny tiny under the seat bag, good for tubes, tire levers, a CO2 cartridge and a multi tool, it’s got zero storage capacity.

Road touring bikes also have a more forgiving, less racy geometry.

Possibly I should have taken my cyclocross bike and swapped out the tires but I wanted something fast and light and comfortable for long distance riding.

I’ve done lots of supported touring on my road bike but I’ve also started to think about how nice it would be sometimes to be independent, to be able to pack panniers and go.

Question: Fellow road cyclists, do you have two road bikes, a speedy, racy one and a touring bike? Or do you use one bike for both purposes?

Currently in the Sam fleet: mountain bike, cyclocross bike, fixed gear road bike, road bike, and track bike. But I don’t have one of these!

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