Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reluctant Friends

They exchanged suspicious glances and growled at each other at first, but Graham and Eustacia have finally learned to be friends. They now see beyond their differences and instead focus on the similarities: the green frames, the cream tires, the leather Brooks saddles, the twine, the dynamo hubs and headlights - so much common ground.

Lately I have been incorporating both bikes into my routine: During the day I travel for work and errands on the Pashley, then come home, quickly change clothes, and do a 25-mile ride on the Rivendell before it gets dark. They are both feeling loved, and I am feeling a like a velo-bigamist!

22 comments:

  1. I love Graham's slight lean toward Eustacia in that first photo! Like he's carefully sidling up to an intimidating beauty.

    Just out of curiosity, how many bikes does this make? I count the Pashley, the DL-1, Graham, and two mixtes (with one forthcoming). Is that right? Where do they all go?? But it does sound like a very lovely family all together. I am pleasantly jealous.

    ReplyDelete
  2. the best part of keeping a broad stable is that the peculiar virtues of each ride stand out fresh each time you switch to them. one bike, no matter how sweet, is soon no longer felt for good or ill.

    ReplyDelete
  3. margonaute - I've been trying not to count them (denial), but you are right: 5 total. I should probably sell one of the vintage mixtes, but can't do it yet!

    Clever - agreed!

    ReplyDelete
  4. 6 if you count frames. Just saying.

    ReplyDelete
  5. MDI- do you have an equal count?? :-)

    it's like bike big love.

    ReplyDelete
  6. velouria, as a velo parent you should be teaching eustacia and graham to embrace their differences, not see beyond them as divisive qualities. they should be taught to be proud of their individual qualities, despite the social and cultural assimilation that they are forced into by the dictates of the mainstream media and the global consumer market. sure, they may wear the same name-brand clothing and accessories, but they each have unique identities that should be celebrated.

    but it's wonderful to hear that you spend so much one-on-one time with your kids. that is one of the most important thing a parent can do :-).

    clever, you are absolutely correct! every time i rotate through my bikes, i appreciate them for the unique ways in which each excels.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The composition of the top picture is pretty nice, Velouria.
    I thought only rock musicians hung out in front of brick walls? (grin)

    About the eventual "culling" - by your writing and baring your thought processes and feelings about each of these bikes and their character, you have also built up a following *for them*. Should the time come where you need to move one on, there will be a wealth of potential "forever homes" amongst your readership.

    And congrats- anyone who rides a few commute miles each way, then goes out for a 20+ mile ride for fun afterward is no longer a dilettante.
    You are a cyclist, madam.

    CK

    ReplyDelete
  8. 7 if you count the super vintage DL1. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. The proper number of bikes for any person can be calculated with the follwing equation, where X equals the number of bikes currently owned and Y equals the proper number of bikes.

    X + 1 = Y

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't think it's fair to count bikes that are unrideable or not actual bikes. So I stand by my count of 5! Plus, I agree with M&G : )

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's great to have different bikes to enjoy different kinds of rides on.

    Are those the brooks leather grips on the Pashley? Do you like them? That's one of the alternatives I've been considering on my Raleigh (along with maybe cork or solid wood).

    ReplyDelete
  12. I second Corey's comment on the probable supply of "forever homes"! It's true-- you've made them all sound very lovable.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I only have one bike right now and it feels truly weird. I think this must change very soon.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dear Lovely Bicycle,
    I need your advice. The bicycle I've had the longest(in one piece) is a 24" Mongoose BMX racing cruiser I got in college. Like 28 years. It's been a racer, a 7 speed mountain bike and a trials bike in the early 90s.The last ten years as a single speed mountainbike.

    We've had some great times together and I've made tons of parts for her, a custom fork to allow using a 26" front wheel, headset adaptors for a modern sealed headset, tiny little bolt-on V-Brake mounts,A sexy little handmade chromoly micro-adjust seatpost, the list goes on. It was my blast across town and jump all the stairs and hedges bike for years. But I've grown up I geuss, we've drifted apart, and well, I almost never ride it anymore. The last time I pulled her off the hook and started putting air in her tires it was like, "YOU again... Whasa matter, that trashy 28 speed tramp got a headache or sompthin? Don' touch me there..." It was so hurtfull, I just ignored it and went for a ride but ended up looping a wheelie out the backside and landing on my behind. I think she did it ON PURPOSE! I had to buy her some new pedals and hang her on the first hook by the stairs to patch things up. Now if I ride any other bike she has a hissyflat! It's just not fair. My roadbikes think she's trouble and won't have much to do with her, and my old Raleighs are downright snooty to her. I still want to be "friends" but I don't know how to tell her.
    What should I dooo...

    Confused

    ReplyDelete
  15. LOL Anonamouse posted a funny.

    If I can offer some advice of my own, one can never have too many bikes, and one can never purchase too many nice things for a bike. So just buy your Mongoose nice parts so it doesn't feel bad and take him (her?) out for an evening of fun every few weeks. He (she?) must have some favorite spots to hang out...

    ReplyDelete
  16. neighbortease - What a strange and potentially hazardous situation; hope you can remedy it soon!

    Anonamouse - I am so sorry you had to find out the hard way that bicycles can be temperamental and vindictive. But like cat breeds, different kinds of bikes are known for their different characters. Supposedly Raleigh 3-speeds have some of the gentler tempers, so I am surprised to hear that yours are snooty. Perhaps it only sees that way, because the Mongoose secretly pinches them? In any case, try to keep the bikes in separate rooms - or if not possible, separate corners - and perhaps change the brand of mongoose food you're using. If all else fails, have her examined for distemper.

    ReplyDelete
  17. "Perhaps it only sees that way, because the Mongoose secretly pinches them? In any case, try to keep the bikes in separate rooms - or if not possible, separate corners - and perhaps change the brand of mongoose food you're using. If all else fails, have her examined for distemper." ROFL!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Velo-bigamist! Ha ha! That's great!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Velouria, I agree my situation is tenuous. But I have a birthday coming up and so I think I will have another bicycle by the end of June. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. neighbourtease - Oh, how exciting! Any ideas yet as to what it will be?

    Carinthia - I was trying to apply what I know to be true about children and cats : )

    ReplyDelete
  21. They say that wars are fought between brothers--or siblings. It's our similarities that cause tensions--and allow us to relate to each other. Now, whether Graham and Eustacia will buy all of this, I don't know. After all, Graham is totally a Cold War guy and Eustacia is a quintessentially Victorian gal.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Velouria: the Retrovelo Paula is first in the running.

    ReplyDelete