Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How many Bikes is Too Much?

I often wonder about this. One? Ten? Is fifteen obsessive or just excessive? A lot I guess depends on where you live. In Chicago we don't really have four seasons. There's the cold season 7 months, the rainy season 3 1/2 months and the warm season. About 6 weeks. So if we commute by bike, that puts the need at about 3. Certainly any bike that makes it through a Chicago cold season is in need of a full rebuild and a good rest, at seasons end. When it is, nice here, it rains or the winds swirl and change direction. Usually against whatever direction you happen to riding in. So of course you need a bike that can handle the wind and rain. Something with a nice set of fenders, but lighter weight than your cold season bike. It doesn't have to contend with salt so it also has a better paint job than your cold season bike. Then there are about 12 days that fall sometime between June and November, when the weather just fucking magnificent. For these rare days you need your baby . That's the one you never take your eyes off of. When you're sitting outside having a beer/drink and it's looking back at you like a beautiful horse. Just waiting til you're ready to get back in the saddle. (hopefully sober) That bike looks different for everyone, for me it would look something like this.

That's a 1938 Schwinn Paramount. It's more than 70 years old so, naturally you would only take it out on perfect days. Bikes have been sexy for a long time. Why is that some people don't see/get it? What a hot little shit...

I've been in love with bicycles for as long as I can remember. My first bike as a kid was gold with a leopard print saddle. I was three years old and my dad buys me this wild looking bike. I've been a freak ever since.

I once lived in a 1 bedroom apartment. I stored as many as twenty bikes in my living room and kitchen. Often people would visit and say something sarcastic like: Think you need a few more bikes? My answer was always the same. I do.

Here's what I think. 1 bicycle is not enough. That's what I'd call woefully unprepared. Three would be meeting the necessities of a cyclist. Four or more would make one an enthusiast. One should always ride their bikes. If you collect and don't ride. You're a loser. Except for those planning to open a museum. So those of you who only have one bike, if I see you and look at you strange. It's just because I'm wondering, what's up with you. Don't you think you need a few more bikes?

What a sexy decal.


  1. The way I see it, one should have as many bikes as there garage, house, apartment, attic, basement, crawlspace etc. can store. Or seven bikes, one for each day of the week. Or twelve, one for each month of the year. Or a bike to match every chrome bag you have ;)

  2. Wow, what a beauty! 1938 schwinn paramount ...
    I found this the other day and fell in love


    I personally feel that if you ride fixed, you should be riding a pista frame.

    I see all these kids riding around on road frame conversions. That is a waste of a frame that could be built up with casettes and a derailer. That's what it was made for.

    I'm a purist though, and I would feel shameful riding around on a road frame that was fixed. I NEED A TRACK FRAME ... I LOVE THEM SO MUCH !!!
    A lot of kids don't even know the difference.

    I'm currently looking for vintage pista frames for a winter bike project. Ideally I want a Schwinn Paramount P-10 with full campy record components ... at least the bb and headset anyway ... reynolds 531 tubes !!! (I like columbus too though :)

    I read your comment about kids coming in and asking for colored deep v's and never asking about hubs or anything else ...

    That doesn't make me mad though. They just need somebody to take the time to let them know what the deal is. Or else they will go around perpetuating ignorance. If you take the time to school them, then they will pass that knowledge on ... I see that as an opportunity to convert a new jack hipster fixie fad rider to a educated fixed gear enthusiast.

    anyway, when I finish building my p-10 I'll bring it by the shop. Actually, i'll probably swing by before that for parts or help ...

    I still have a lot to learn myself.