Tuesday, March 14, 2006

New bike, only bike

This winter, a chain of events sent a used Rivendell Romulus frame my way. It's much nicer than any bike I've had before, and the bike just sort of hung around in the living room corner for several months. I really didn't know what to do with it. I'm not the type to build up a special occasion dress-up bike. Finally, an earth-shattering thought came to me: maybe I should just ride it.

While I was selling off parts to get more parts and build up the frame, the annual "just one bike" theme surfaced in discussions I haunt. Hmmmm. I sat down and made a list of things I needed a bike to do without sqwaking. It seemed to me the Romulus was as good as any and better than a bike that doesn't fit.

So, now I have one bike (plus half of the tandem, I guess!). I'm comfortable on it, but I'm not quite comfortable with it. While it never quite fit, the old Surly had seen me through a lot. We had fallen together, gotten lost down logging roads together, half-frozen on mountain passes together. I trusted the bike to do its job, and I trusted that no one else would pay it much attention. Bikes aren't alive, but they do become a real part of memories.

The Romulus is different. It shines. It makes tiny noises that I don't know yet. Other people notice it. They even notice things about it that I haven't yet. Can things absorb human experience? I almost think they can. Years from now, when the shine has been traded for memories etched into the paint, the bike will be a friend. For now, I can only say that it's a very nice bike.

For those interested in such things, I took a few pictures the other day. You can see them at Cyclofiend Jim E's excellent website. Special thanks to another Jim at Hiawatha Cyclery for taking time to put together a lighting system that won't die in the cold.


Blogger gC said...

Nice Rivendell, Joe. I must say, that the 'only 1 bike' thing has been floating around here too. The 'an old friend' feeling of a bike deffinately sets in after a while. Keep riding and enjoy the Romulus!

5:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great looking bike, and I'm envious of your only having one. Occasionally, I have a fit about the number of bikes we have -- and have to move to access closets, etc. -- and I swear I'll get rid of some of them. The problem is, I use them all. The Burro is for hauling the BAW trailer. The Miyata is my around town fast bike; the Rivendell is my touring bike; the recumbent is for, well it's just for when I want to ride a recumbent. The Cannondale has studded snow tires for when it snows. The triple is for biking with both kids; the old Bike Friday tandem is for biking with one, or when we go out as a family on a bike tour, (in which case we collapse down the triple to a tandem). The recumbent Ryan Duplex tandem is for long tandem rides with my wife, (and because I found it at Goodwill for $75 -- I have to keep it because of the story). The Andre Bertin tandem we put up for sale occasionally, but no one wants to buy it, and it's a neat bike, so it lives outside in the shed.

That's not counting my wife's recumbent, racing bike, touring bike, and single speed, or my children's bikes.

I'm not a collector -- I swear!

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

I think if the "one bike" idea is going to take hold, it'll do so naturally and without a plan to do so. I own many bikes, but my "one bike" is my Atlantis. Some bikes I bought or acquired by other means, thinking they'd fill some niche in my obsession. But none of them sees even 1% of the miles that my Atlantis gets ridden. These days, I see other bikes, and sometimes I'm tempted to expand the herd. But then I look at all the other great bikes I have tha occupy a corner in the basement most of the time.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Bicycle Commuter Mike said...

I love pictures of a good commuter bike.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

Well, if you must have only one bike than I believe you've picked a winner. I haven't seen a more beautiful bike in a long time. Good for you!!

9:02 AM  
Blogger gwadzilla said...

just one bike?
those words should not be repeated

9:26 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Could you tell me what type of basket you have?

9:26 PM  

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