I have challenged myself to cycle each and every day during the month of April. Actually, the challenge is broader than that. In addition to cycling every day, I am committed to not using the SUV this month, not even to transport the bikes.
My intent is not to cycle more, although I am certain I will. No, my intent is to inspire others to get on their bikes. So far, no one has taken up my challenge, at least not openly. Not even interested family and friends. Sometimes, all that is needed to change behaviour is a little push. That’s what I am doing. Encouraging people to cycle sooner than they might otherwise.
I have a lot of bikes. “Too many”, some say. In my mind, I can never have too many bikes. They serve different purposes. The more I have, the more opportunity I have to ride.
I pulled all the bikes out today, making certain they are all in good working order. I plan to ride all of them this month – the commuter, the road bikes and, the mountain bikes. Today, I rode 2 of them. I did a 90 minute hilly, training ride on the Roberts and, after cleaning up, rode to a local cafe for lunch on my Kuwahara. Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, I am planning a 2.5 hour tempo, flat ride on the Roberts.
My bikes don’t have names. I envy those of you that have chosen endearing names for your rides. Instead, I refer to mine by the manufacture’s name – Roberts, Garneau, Cervelo, Kuwahara, Rocky Mountain, “Goose”. Boring! And, believe me, I have tried.
The mountain bikes won’t get much ice time. I enjoy trail riding but transport them to find suitable terrain and, I am committed to not driving. That’s alright. I prefer the road bikes anyway.
So, if you are on the couch, get up. Commit. Get going. Get onto your bike. The weather is warm. The days are longer. You have no excuse.
It’s hard to know what motivates. I’ve not succeeded at that at all either. I have a cousin that decided to get into cycling 5 years ago from hearing my stories of my rides, but she was looking for something to do already. Now she’s a triathlete. My wife just got tired of being a cycling widow and tried it, found she liked it and now rides with me some. We’ve done some touring at least
So true! That’s the wonderful thing about cycling. People come to it for different reasons and find different pleasures.
A worthy cause my friend.
Can very much identify with your bike collection. I have 7 bikes, although 3 are vintage with the Sturmey Archer 3 speeds, that I just ride around the block a few times each summer.
Was out riding for the 1st time this season last Wednesday, and it felt SO good. Am hoping to ride more this year. Thank you for the motivation!
Glad to hear that Carl. There are 3 other bikes in the stable that didn’t include. I never ride them. Hope you get out more. Gary
I don’t understand all the bikes? They all look the same. Why do you need so many? It must be a man thing.
Well, they are kind of like all of those beautiful dresses you buy (but never wear). First, you must understand this collection started 35 years ago. As my needs changed, I needed bikes to match. When I moved to BC, the mountain bike capital of the world, I needed a mountain bike to ride the local trails. When I had 2 young boys, I needed a bike I could use to carry them around. As I began commuting to work more frequently, I need a reliable ride that I didn’t have to worry about being stolen. As I became fitter and more skilled, I needed a faster, more responsive bike. As I became able to climb the local mountains, I needed a lighter bike. I know they seem redundant but they really aren’t. Of the collection, I only ride 3 of the bikes regularly. The Kuwahara for commuting. The Roberts for training. And, the Garneau for fast, hilly group rides.
My favourite ride is the Roberts – a 35 year old custom made touring bike that has been recently rebuilt with top quality parts. At least I take care of my collection, ride them all and enjoy them as much today as the day I bought them, maybe even more. It seems I like old things and keeping them current. I’m likely to wear out before they do.
I hope this answers your question. Perhaps I have inspired you to wear those beautiful dresses more often.
Haha, yes I was thinking when I made my comment that it’s just my dresses in reverse.
It’s definitely not just a man thing. I have plenty of female friends who have five, six, seven bikes. I have three working bikes and a decommissioned one I’m planning to rebuild as a single speed. If I had room (and money) for more, I surely would.
I am pleased to hear more women getting into cycling and, working on their bikes as well. I have not known many in my time but wish I had.
I never knew Garneau made a push bike. 😉
LOL. Ya, I am in the process of equipping it with a Dura-ace compact crank set. It has arrived. I just haven’t had the time. This coming weekend I hope to have it rolling again.
That’s an enviable collection, I particularly like the Garneau, don’t see many of those around in these parts. I don’t have names for my bikes either. They just go by their model name.
Thanks. I know. You don’t see a lot of Garneau’s. It is a beautiful bike. I have a Dura-Ace group on it and, in the process of putting a compact Dura-Ace crankset on it. It is a treat to ride. Fast. Responsive. And, light.
Nice Collection Gary. Sorry one bike for now. And it has a name… but may add more in the future as need requires. For now the XC does all.
Thanks Mark. It was 35 years in the making.
You can never have too many bikes!! You’ve also just made me feel better about the number I have 🙂 Keep inspiring people to cycle, it’s worth it.
ps Jealous of the Dura Ace components, although I do like my Ultegras.
I have a Dura-Ace group on the Garneau and Ultegra on the Roberts. They perform similarly. The real difference is weight. So, unless you are a racer or do a lot of climbing you really wouldn’t notice.
How many bikes do you have?
Looking at the price to upgrade from Ultegra to Dura Ace vs what you save in weight, my feeling is, it’s a cheaper solution for me to lose a few grams of body mass!! Currently 10ish bikes, from retro racer, carbon version, MTB, touring and a few ‘project bikes! How many do you have…..? 🙂
You are my kinda girl! It is unusual to find a woman that like bikes and cycling as much as you seem to. Where were you 20 years ago?
I just purchased a compact Dura-Ace crankset on eBay for half the normal retail price but you are right, it is better to work on the engine. I train on the Roberts – a 35 year old steel frame and find I can almost go as fast except when it comes to long climbs. Then the weight matters but, if I could just lose those 5 pounds, it wouldn’t make a difference.
I always like finding like-minded obsessives – it makes me feel less like a cycle-crazed nut! Steel frames are great, my first triathlon bike was a 10 speed steely with frame mounted shifters and I loved it. It’s now relegated to my commuting/pub bike as I have an EMC carbon/alloy for the road. Currently changing over my compact ultegra to a bigger front crankset so I can have a better gear range, 34 ring is too small. Wish I’d had my roadie in Canada, Rockies weren’t the same on the touring bike, it’s a beautiful part of the world.
Congrats on your ebay bargain (still jealous) 🙂
I live in mountain country and find the compact helps a lot both in the city and climbing the local mountains. Would love to hear about your trip across Canada. I am considering doing it next year.
Whereabouts are you in BC? Less mountainous where I am so I’m hoping I can get away a bigger ‘small’ cog – 39/53 tooth. Changing over is next weekend’s project. I loved my canada ride, I went from Toronto to Vancouver then down the US west coast to San Diego. Can’t recommend it stongly enough and v happy to chat about it, you have a great Country to ride across. Feel free to email if you like so I don’t take up your comments space!! There’s a few stories/photos from the trip on my blog somewhere too.
I am in Vancouver and have a cottage north of Toronto. I plan to spend next summer there and would like to cycle over. I will have a closer look at your blog and will email. I would love to hear more about your experience and, down the coast. I hope to do the Oregon Coast this year.
I’ll be thinking of you next weekend. That’s when I plan to install the compact crankset.