It’s about the bike

Cycling isn’t just about the body. There’s a machine involved. Usually I like this part; the machine enables me to go farther and faster than I could ever carry myself on foot. Somehow the machine seems to know that and finds ways of asserting its prominence. For instance, instead of going to bed early on Friday night to try to kick my cold, I was straining to mount new tires on my bike. I managed to pop two inner tubes in the process, further lengthening the ordeal. It seems that there’s always a chain to oil, or shifters to adjust, or handlebars to re-wrap. Not to mention the project bike I was supposed to finish before Maggie arrived back in May and hangs tonight, yet unridden, from its hook in the basement. Some may say it’s not about the bike, but probably only those who don’t maintain their own equipment. And I’m in that camp, at least until Andrew can turn a wrench.
I could probably get by with fewer than the four bikes I have in various states of operational readiness, but there’s nothing like a hot spare. I’d hate to lose a few days of riding to something stupid, like not having a bike to ride. But I could probably cut down on the projects. I’ve proven that I can build wheels and assemble a working road bike this year, so I don’t need to do that again.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that another bike won’t appear in the basement. But I’d better pay somebody else to put it together for me.