A weekend of local rides and DBHOTR*.
One of the great things about riding is the time to mull over random thoughts. This weekend’s were inspired by a thread on our forum about the eternal search for the perfect bike, the do everything, 100% right bike. A bike for life?
I’ve never really entertained the perfect bike scenario, though I’ll quite happily hold my hand up to using the ‘it’s a bike for life’ argument several times to justify the latest purchase to my other half. Needless to say none of those bikes now hang in the shed.
Things move one, riding and riders evolve, yesterdays perfect bike becomes today’s compromised collection of imperfections.
The bikes I’ve liked the most (and still hanker after) are the compromised jack of not all trades that have been put together with crazy ideas in mind. Like the Santa Cruz Jackal above ^^. A bike that was fantastic at one particular thing and massively compromised at everything else.
Despite the effort it took to pedal the thing uphill, despite the weird calf cramping it induced, I loved that bike once it was pointed downhill. And loving it on the downhills made up for everything else. A dirt jump bike with too long forks, way beyond its intended use. A (heavy) labour of love. Wrong bikes can be right.
I want bikes that excel in one field rather than compromise in all. I can see the argument for the 100% bike if you’re restricted to one, but I’d rather have bikes for a purpose and a full bike shed.
After all these years of riding I’ve finally come to the conclusion there is no bike for life; life’s too short to hold on to just one. Times change, riding changes; I’ve changed from the rider I was even five years ago and I’m glad I ditched the ‘perfect’ bike I had back then for the one I’m riding today. There’s a documentation of my riding evolution in the ‘My Bikes’ Flickr photoset that’s been built up over the years. I had good times on them all but there came a natural time to move on.
As I write this I’m waiting eagerly for the delivery man to drop off my latest ride. A new purchase that’s been justified once more by the ‘bike for life’ lie (that I think we both now acknowledge, but it’s part of the process now).
I’m going to love this bike. It’ll be my one and only. The 100% perfect bike.
Until next time, obviously…
Where did you ride this weekend?
*Death by hills, on the rivet™ (courtesy of Piers and Alec)