N+1 is the Perfect Number of Bikes

Sam and Catherine have both written about the perfect perfect number of bikes before. I always thought that, as a commuter cyclist, I would have much lower bike needs. My second-hand CCM hybrid was perfectly fine for riding to the office until the snow flies.

But last year I took up winter cycling. And then I fell in love with a not-quite-cargo Dutch bike in April, which has been amazing for larger shopping trips. Yes, Costco and Canadian Tire by bike is totally a thing.

Diane’s black Dutch bike. Loaded with a sleeping bag, foam mattress, inflatable pillow, sleeping bag liner, wallet and a dozen eggs.

The more I used my bikes for commuting and errands, the more I saw this as the normal way for me to move around the city. My car rarely leaves the driveway more than once a week now.

So when I headed up to my cottage property this summer and calculated actual distances to the public beach, the gas station where I buy ice, and my friend’s cottage on another lake, it became clear that I “need” a cottage bike. My property is on a gravel road, I don’t have a bike rack, and storage space at home is at a premium. However, I can lock my bike securely in the old trailer I use for storage. I went to a used bike shop that is closing down and got myself a deal – a decent mountain bike that will do the job and was inexpensive enough that I don’t need to feel too bad if it gets stolen.

Diane’s new-to-her silver yellow and blue mountain bike, standing in a yard surrounded by other bikes for sale.

Hopefully this N+1 will satisfy me for a while, at least once I buy some sort of basket or rack for carrying supplies. My next bike will be almost certainly be an cargo e-bike, at which point I can start thinking like Catherine about N-1. Unless I indulge myself in the Brompton I have dreamed of ever since Sam first wrote about hers…

One thought on “N+1 is the Perfect Number of Bikes

  1. Congratulations on your new two-wheeled family member! Your purchase makes a lot of sense, and will bring you pleasure and help the environment all at the same time. Let us know how it goes.

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