. the relationship between bicycle geometry and bicycle handling
. how to adjust my position for maximum comfort on different kinds of bikes
. which components work best for me, and why
. what is really my optimal bicycle size
. how to maximise a bicycle's strengths and compensate for a bicycle's shortcomings
. how to determine whether my cycling limitations are due to lack of skill or to discomfort
. and, of course, how to perform a variety of DIY adjustments
became comfortable with vehicular cycling. The Raleigh Lady's Sports taught me all about vintage English 3-speeds, plunged me into an obsession with cream tires, and, ultimately, made me realise that I prefer loop frames to straight step-through frames. And the Mercier mixte helped me understand derailleur gearing by allowing me to boldly experiment with drivetrain conversion, as well as to experience an authentic French city bicycle from a bygone era.
I do not see myself as a collector of bicycles, but I am happy to serve as foster parent to a few that will ultimately be passed along to another owner - learning all I can from it in the meanwhile. As for the financial costs of the purchases and the alterations - I have been lucky to more or less break even, and that is good enough for me. I have also been lucky to get lots of advice and help from experienced bicycle lovers not only locally, but from all over the world. Thank you all, and I hope that some of my experiences have provided useful or entertaining information for my readers.