Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oops!... I did it again

Yes, again. Or better: not. Again I didn't buy a new bicycle although I claimed in spring that I will (and this summer for sure).

Should I? I already have one bicycle. My dear old friend, my red Kästle mountain bike (read more if you like). It has accompanied me for many many years now, and guess what -- it still works perfectly fine for me. No, it wasn't particularly expensive. But I looked after it.

Speaking of maintenance: That's why I'm bike-free this week. My bike is, as every beginning of the winter, with a real bike mechanic that checks all the bits and pieces. As for now, we have already agreed to replace the chain and the tires as both are almost worn-out. Of course, small repairs I do myself but I treat my bike with a proper service every year (for all-year cyclists it is recommended to get that at the beginning of the winter). So far that has paid off and I can highly recommend checking the bike or getting it checked, even when nothing is broken or causes trouble. Scroll down on this page to read about the "art of cycle maintenance" daily/weekly/monthly/yearly.

Me and my beloved bike

Of course, I would love to have many bikes starting with a retro kind of girlie bike, a folding bike, a tandem, a fixie, a cargo bike, a road bike and so on. I'm sure I could even find use for all of them. But actually it doesn't matter so much. It doesn't matter what kind of bike I ride as long as I ride -- any bike will do just fine :).

By using just one bike I can at least claim that I safe natural resources. Having learned much about mining lately, I can tell you that already iron is an important resource (probably even the most important one) and that it's by no means easy to get all that stuff out of the earth's crust. You shouldn't believe that it's all about oil -- rising prices and shortage on iron (and hence coal etc.) can mess us up even more! If you're interested in the topic you may read the recent world mining report. For example, did you know each year we produce about 1 billion tons of iron worldwide, and that more than 70% of the ore come from politically instable countries? Do you know how difficult and energy/time consuming it is to detect, mine, smelt and process raw materials to finally obtain something that we just take for granted and buy in a supermarket? Well, I don't want to be preachy, but I think everybody should be aware of such simple facts. It's already too hard to imagine what stuff went into my notebook and how it got there. Such things always leave me astonished and wondering...

Well, after that short side note, back to bikes. I will eventually buy a new bike (or a nice second-hand bike?) cause I want to be fancy and have a bike with better lighting, more transport capacity, proper rain and clothes protection and so on. Maybe not this year, maybe not even next year. But one day for sure :).

How many bikes do you have? What kinds? Got one all-time favorite?

Somehow I have the impression that Americans tend to have more bikes (if they have any) whereas Europeans mostly only own one (but there are more bike owners). Would be interesting to see whether this assertion holds in general :).


Sonja said...

We need to take good care of the loved ones :). Nice text today, I like it! Resource and energy saving are very important topics.

I have never even thought of having several bikes, one is enough for urban use in Finland. Some people that do long-distance have 2 bikes, but that's not common. Bikes also circuate in families, so you might end up having a couple of bikes whether you like it or not. In that case one often ends up all neglected and sad in some old warehouse :( In Thunder Bay, Canada many people did not have/ride bikes, but those that did, had only one because they need them mostly for one purpose, and that's sports.

Unknown said...

Nice blog...I have three bikes...a road bike, a mountain bike, and a folding bike...I really want a Dutch bike and a fixie...I'm sure I'll get one of those soon.

Adrienne Johnson said...

Let's please not speak of too many bikes. It is an illness in my home : )

Anna said...

At my home I had one mountain bike I won in a kind of draw when I was 12 (I was amazed by its 18 gears I did not know how to use at the moment) but it front wheel broke and never got repaired. Then I have my sister's mountain bike which doesn't work either. And my father's bike doesn't have proper brakes. They're old but not much used, as I just began cycling in Barcelona one year ago.

In Barcelona I am afraid having my own bike, as I am sure 100% it would be stolen. So I use public Bicing bikes.

I think I should consider adapting my 13-year old-not-much-used bike to my 25 year old body (new front wheel and new seat for a start). It wouldn't be so bad if it got stolen as I never paid for it. :P

Saschi said...

I have (about-never counted them) 19. Most of them I saved from being thrown away - a 25 year old Peugeot Randonneur Bike with (at this time very rare in Germany) triple Chainring and Cantilever brakes. Just stood in the street for half a year unlocked. I left a note and brought it home. My first Peugeot Racebike, has to be restored, very good bike, a 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper that a friend wanted to throw away, a pre WW II fillet brazed frame Granny Bike - waiting to be resored. A 1990 Bridgestone - love this bike got it on EBay last year mine was stolen 10 years ago leaving me in tears, dto. my first ever "bike" a white 10 speed Peugeot. Then there is my Fort all hard Mountainbike since 1998 (parts from 1992 Raleigh) graet all around!, my Fahrradmanufaktur B Model from 1992 with all Suntour (if I had only one it would be this one), a Noell Racebike from Ebay (the bike for touring and vcenturies all steel, nice ride with fenders and Schmidt Son Hub Dynamo Lighting. Recently i bought a "Frosch Rad" Baloon Tire Bike (Schwalbe Big Apple) because I wanted a "slow bike" with modern Lighting and adequate suspension for the cioties cobblestones. Also wanted if my prejudices against Hub gear shifting still holds true. No it does not. Fine for the city. Reverse action (Nexus) good idea. But the bike suffers from a too stiff frame and to short construction. So it is by no means slow, but suspension is not so great, for example compared to my 1960 Herkules 1 speed ordinary mens bike. VERY good performance. Very nice ride. I think it comes from it bein long and having a flat Headtube angle and a big bent far down the fork. Graet suspension. Hub brake needs maintainence though. Then there are my girl friends bikes and some Bridgestones waiting restauration as well as a single speed project (from before the present wave will be finished after) and a modern Alu Scott Sportster (wich is nice and cheap but nothing special.
I like to ride bikes of every kind to make a competent judgement (for some reason I completely avoid suspension - tried it and just dont like the feel) and Carbon. Most expensive was about 700 Euro. I find myself riing the same bike all the time in the City fore some month then change. Race and MTB of cause always the same. If my garage was bigger I would save some more I think.

Unknown said...

A road bike, a cruiser, a mtn bike, and an old walmart bike that I can't bring myself to get rid of, despite it having no useful components and being completely unridable. The mtn bike is ladden with baskets at the moment, it's my grocery getter. The cruiser is my commuting bike, and the road bike is for big/fast rides. Craigslist is wonderful, as I picked up the road bike for 145.00 and another road bike for my hubby for 175. Both were in good shape and are way above our levels :D

Sonja said...

WOW! I never had an idea that one person could need/want so many bikes! Enthusiasts... :)

Velouria said...

I have "only" 3 bikes. Two of them were vintage and bought for very little money; one was new. Same with my husband. Of course that means that together, we have 6 bikes - all of them in our small flat : (

somervillain said...

i live in the same town as filigree, and it's a sort of exception in that it has a lot of bicycle history, and is home to quite a few collectors. right now, i have seven bikes: a 50+ year old raleigh 3-speed, a 24 year old japanese touring bike, a 23 year old dutch bike, three racing bikes between 21 and 30 years old, and lastly, my every day grocery and preschooler hauler-- a 22 year old cannondale mtn bike converted for city use.

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