My dream fleet


To possess a bicycle is to be able first to look at it, then to touch it. But touching is revealing as insufficient; what is necessary is to be able to get on the bicycle and take a ride. But this gratuitous ride is likewise insufficient; it would be necessary to use the bicycle to go on some errands. And this refers us to longer uses … But these trips themselves disintegrate into a thousand appropriative behavior patterns, each one of which refers to others. Finally, as one could foresee, handing over a bank note is enough to make a bicycle belong to me, but my entire life is needed to realize this possession.

Jean-Paul SartreOn Being and Nothingness (1943)

The idea of a “fleet” comes from a colleague who refers to his bikes that way. He has them all custom painted to match.

What’s my ideal bicycle fleet?

This question came up on Facebook last week when I noticed the bike cage on our front porch looked low bikes. I checked with my partner and indeed, we’re below quota. Years ago when things were really getting out of hand, we set a family limit of fifteen bikes. This prompted a discussion of what I’d do if we lifted the quota and money wasn’t an issue.

So here are the bikes I’d own if money and space allowed:

1.Cruisy style fashionable funky coloured bike with bells, baskets and a kick stand. I’ll ride it to the market and to lunch with friends wearing colourful dresses and sandals and shades. If I lived in a European city, I’d ride this bike without a helmet.

2. Cargo bike for groceries because I can’t fit enough food in my panniers

3. Super nice racing carbon road bike, with electronic shifting

4. Rainy day/off season road bike on days when conditions aren’t perfect for taking out the super nice bike

5. Cyclocross bike

6. Mountain bike

7. Time trial bike

8. Track bike

9. Touring road bike

10. Spare road bike for friends!


How about you?

For other posts on this theme see:

New bike lust

How many bikes is too many?

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