How many bikes do you have? How many bikes to you need? Well now, those are a couple of serious questions that simply can not be answered simply. Yes these are some of the things that keep me awake at night. Don’t ask me why. I don’t why. These are just some of the stuff that floats around between my ears from time to time. There are a multitude of sects in the tribe of bike riding tribe. I think the largest group is the one bike – because well I got one bike crowd. These folks are not really tied to having just one bike, but that is what they have. There may of course be “The Old Bike” (or part of it) hanging from the garage rafters but for the most part they are the one-bike folks.
Then there are the one bike purist camps. I’m not even going to go into the the sub-group of the one bike – one gear folks. It is not that they could not have another bike in the stables, they only want one bike. I have to admit that I like the concept of one bike and the simplier (and often more challenging) experience of riding in a one bike world. I even know a guy who rides a rigid singlespeed fixie. He even rides it on some gnarly trails, bottom line is the guy has mad skills to do such a thing.
Me, well I think I am in the more reasonable group (okay not more reasonable, let’s go with more common). I have multiple bikes. There is the XC Full-Suspension rig, the hardtail, the singlespeed, the old long-legged bike, the new long-legged bike, as well as a couple of frames waiting to be pressed back into service. Yep, plenty of bikes in my garage. Bikes are like a good handcrafted beer. There are plenty of great ones out there and what kinda of person would not like to enjoy all different types of the them. I mean I love a good IPA, but you know I also like Imperial Stouts, Porters, and all sorts of other yummy beverages. Some days I want reach for that Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale but then there is the Dogfishhead Squall IPA. Or maybe its the Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, ohh I know the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale. They choices go on and on and on over the tasty dark malt beverage horizon. A couple months ago Bicycling Magazine did a piece on Sam Calagione, the owner of Dogfish Head Brewery, discussing his love for brewing and cycling. He made a comment about the microbrewing competition out there that I thought was really awesome. “…I embrace it. Craft-beer drinkers are promiscuous–I drink plenty of other beers.” Well I think mountianbikers much like craft-beer drinkers (amazing how many mountainbikers are also craft-beer nuts) are a promiscuous bunch as well. If we can get away with it, for the most part, we will have more than one bike.
Such was the case this past Sunday, not just about beer, but about bikes. Sure I have a brand new UZZI that I am complete digging, but Santa Cruz was having a demo day out at Lake Hodges so I felt the urge to see what the new stuff was from these guys. Santa Cruz and BikeBling were putting on the event together and when I got there they were doing some hustling to keep the 30 demo bikes rotating with sizable of pool of folks looking to get onto the latest two-wheeled Santa Cruz creations.
Of course with any such kind of MTB gathering in San Diego County, some of the usual suspects were on the scene and lots of chatting occurred about bikes, trails, potential roadtrips and even some of the latest craft beers to hit the market. It would have been a good morning of socializing even without the new shiny bits to galk and paw over. So how many bikes do I need and how many bikes do I own? Well the answer that question in the simplest of terms in I have have one more bike than I need and one less bike than I want.