You Know You Are Obsessed When...

Lots of Bikes're tempted to stop and examine every bike you see, no matter how nice or "crappy." Your walking companions are accustomed to this and stop in front of bicycles pre-emptively when you are with them.

... you walk by a freshly painted house or fence and wonder what the closest matching RAL colour code would be. You narrow it down to two, both of which you remember by heart.

Sidewalk get confused when trying to walk places. You are accustomed to the cycling route.

Randonneur, Charles River happen upon a scenic spot, and you wonder how well your bike would photograph there.

Martini, Bicycle is impossible to snap a photo inside your apartment without getting at least a small piece of bike in the frame.

Single Speed Aquatic Tandem Recumbent (aka Pedal Boat) decide to rent a boat on vacation, and it ends up being a pedal boat.

Vienna, Heatwave arrive in a foreign country and the first thing you do is sort out your bike situation. Later you also tend to the small stuff, like making sure your mobile phone works and that you can withdraw cash. You don't even bother with public transport.

Bicycle in Vienna? Check! Despite the pouring rain and the worst jetlag ever.


  1. Oh, I am going to be riding a different bike every day, also sleeping in ALL of your panniers.

  2. Ah, I know the symptoms well.
    The Scientist is just used to it, and will play with his phone while I inspect roadside bikes. Every once in a while he'll stop expectantly and when I pass by ask "don't you want to take a photo?"

  3. when you try to use your kryptonite key on your apartment, mailbox, and office locks.. it's happened on many occasions.

    1. haha...I have done that plenty of times!

  4. Sounds like I have the same disease. My wife is catching it too, partly your fault due to the Pilen that she absolutely loves.

    We were on Newbury St. a few weeks ago and she pointed out a gorgeous purple ANT and made me stop to take pictures. Her recent response was "of course you need it" when I was trying to figure out whether to get wheels built for the new project. I was reviewing our finances recently and all of our fun money was in bike related spending.

    I'd have to add, "When your spare saddle grew a bike."

  5. just thought of another:

    ...when your keychain ring includes a miniature tape measurer

  6. when I was in Melbourne last month, locating bike share/rental services was also pretty high on my agenda (just behind the standard list for a new city: ie. nearest ATM/forex, convenience store, breakfast, etc.) It wasn't particularly necessary until the weekend, since most of the weekday was booked with activities that were all in walkable distance from the hotel, but it was splendid to have on Saturday and Sunday.

    I was walking with cycler at lunch last week and nearly tripped over a curb while my gaze was distracted by a bike locked up nearby and she just smirked and said, 'yeah, that more or less happened to me last month when I nearly fell off a curb.' Occupational hazard.

  7. - When you walk somewhere for once and you automatically walk on the cycle path/lane.

    - When you recognize people by their bike rather than their face!

    - Your friends/co-workers expect you to have allen keys in your pocket at all times, like when they are assembling flatpack furniture.

    John I

  8. As a newish reader, I really want to know what your mysterious job is that gives you the opportunity to spend part of the year in Europe. I need a gig like that!

  9. Your keychain consists of a house key, car key, and two different bike lock keys. When you pull a pair of pants out that you haven't worn in months, and the right leg is still rolled. When all of your pants have a small oil stain on the inside of the cuffs.
    When you have one working bike and three bikes in spare components.

  10. Johni, I have had several acquaintances whose names I could never remember, but I could always remember their bicycle. I one case I got so frustrated I blurted out "old Schwinn LeTour."

  11. I had the same experience in Jamaica. Hope you are enjoying your trip!

  12. - When your kids see someone pedaling, feign great excitement, scream, "Look, Mom, a BIKE!!!!!" and then collapse into peals of laughter.

    My husband has often mocked my keychain tape measure, FWIW. : )

    Fun post.

  13. don't feel bad I work right there near the Brattle and I stop and check outthe bikes on that fence every day...I also sometimes see a lady matching you and your bikes description riding around Harvard square.

    My friends call it the bike sickness, where you are forced to check out every bike you see, and then only as an afterthought check out the rider. Where you start to remember people based on what bike they have. Where you instinctively start looking for a place to lock up your bike every time you go some place.

    Its how you know when you have truly fallen for the bicycle lifestyle.

    Next time I see you in Harvard Square I will shout "lovely bicycle!"

  14. ... every time you hear of a new product you think "I should build a bike around that and try it out."

  15. check on all except the paint, and bikes inside the house and possible travel. I do spend a lot of time thinking about if I can have a bike option for any of my travel plans. and remember how I railroaded my family's weekend vacation with old friends into a trip to NAHBS last winter... so I give myself a check for that too. :-)

  16. - when you eventually drive somewhere and instinctively try to hand signal instead of using the turn signals (yes this has happened to me).

    - when you park your car and start looking for a U-lock.

    - when you automatically cuff your drive-side pant leg as you're getting dressed in the morning.

    - when you start using pictures of your favorite bikes as computer and phone wallpaper instead of your kids/dogs/cats/loved ones.

  17. LOL I have done many of these.

    *Someone goes by, and you look, and you can name what kind of bicycle they were on but can't remember their gender.

    *You look at the bike rack at work and you think, "Huh, I thought that person had today off."

    *Whenever you buy clothes, you ask yourself if you can ride in them, or how you'd adjust things so that you *can* ride in them. (Note: doesn't apply to people with full chainguards and skirt guards.)

    *You've all but stopped buying anything with cotton in it, except specifically for summer wear. And even then, you wonder if you could get something like it in a nice wool blend.

    *You've given up carrying a real purse/handbag and instead carry a messenger bag/pannier. (I have a pannier now with a shoulder strap. WIN!)

    *You wonder how hard it would be to sew a really cute coat out of a fancy waterproof-breathable fabric.

    *If you see a similar bicycle to yours locked to something, you are compelled to put yours next to it and take a picture. "Hee! They have a similar-era Raleigh Sports!"

    *You criticize other people's locking jobs, and you get downright upset when you see a super-nice bicycle locked up with a flimsy cable.

    *You have lingered near a bike rack, taking your time unlocking your bike, in the hopes that the person who owns the fabulous bicycle next to yours will come out to unlock it, so you can talk to them about their awesome bicycle.

    *You start a blog about bicycles, just so you can have a place where you can talk about bicycles as much as you want!

  18. Nice boots.
    What's a RAL code ?

    Oh, and, you speak french ?
    You may enjoy the 1001 anecdotes that prove you think too much about biking :

  19. These are good. :)

    -When running arrends in my car I always look for bike parking.

  20. "When you walk somewhere for once and you automatically walk on the cycle path/lane"

    Oh yes! On a quiet side street, I will also stray onto the road sometimes and "take the lane". The sidewalk feels so cramped.

  21. Philippe - Thanks, they are from Vienna circa 2010.

    RAL is a powdercoating colour system, often used on bicycle frames. Here's the colour chart.

  22. Peppy (the amazing cycling cat who can also drive, among other things)October 12, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    -When you think "Oh, it's no big deal, I'll drive wrong way for just one block, I'll be careful."

  23. ...When future moves are based on bike trips and parking.
    ...When said parking and storage involve at minimum 2 bikes per person and the cargo bike.
    ...When the crotch on your pants wears out far quicker than any other part on any item of clothing.
    ...When someone stops you to talk about a bike component choice that you've made, you suddenly feel entirely justified in the hours of research that went into making it.
    ...When on the occasions you drive, you drive very slowly because 35 is fast.
    ...When you start building city bikes for your friends so you have someone to ride with.
    ...When you have your kid's bike progression planned till they're 10.
    ...When your kid goes WHEEEEE when going downhill in the car because that's what one does going downhill.
    ...When tire choice is a complicated matter because it'll significantly affect the quality of your day.
    ...When dates or vacations sometimes don't really count if they don't involve bikes.
    ...When you felt the need to build a date bike because your distance bike didn't have lights and you don't want to "drive the minivan" when you're going out.
    ...When you have an entirely personal geography of your city mapped out and choose a route based on your mood, weather, state of bikes, topography, paving/pothole status of the roads and time of day affecting driver's moods. It has little to no correlation to walking or driving routes.
    ...When you choose laundry soap and hand soap based on it's ability to deal with chain muck.

  24. When your arms and neck are deeply tanned, but your hands are pasty white.
    When your hand soap is orange goop.
    When you carry your bike into a store or restaurant because they don't have anything for you to lock up to. Or because you forgot your lock that day.
    When you know which parks in a thirty mile radius have unlocked bathrooms.

  25. obsessively check your fave bike blogs to find out what is happening today that's important.

    This is a fun thread :)

  26. When you walk to the kitchen to make a cup of tea and find yourself, five minutes later, just staring at your bike in the hallway, admiring its details for no particular reason.

    1. Bahaha this happens to me ALL THE TIME. I come down the stairs in a pre-coffee daze, and then only the pangs of caffeine withdrawal will alert me I've been standing there too long...

  27. Nice to know I'm not the only one that stops to look at every bike. Rock on!

  28. When you try to drive your car up a sidewalk ramp that you normally ride your bike up.

    When you slow your car to check out a bike.

    When almost everything you do involves a bicycle, including spending time with the hubby.

    While convalescing from a fall, you decide a backpack is better to use than a purse and you stick a 3 Feet Please sticker on your wheelchair.

    When you find ways to cycle at the office and use the workplace walk-in closet to stable your bike.

    When you take the camera on rides so you can photograph your bike for sharing online.

    When you try to catch up to a cyclist far ahead to see what they are riding.

  29. What is here termed obsession could also be called commitment, dedication, enthusiasm - with a change of career.
    Not all obsessives get to play industry insider - and each of us is visited by youth just once.
    Enjoy Vienna.

  30. ...When you leave a bike at your work place for running errands, and still have two more in your apartment.
    ...When you start buying old bikes online, just so you can fix them up, and then give them away as presents.

  31. When stuff is only cool if it is somehow bike related
    When your only magazine subscription is to a bike magazine
    When you have a continual internal debate about whether to upgrade your current bike or buy a new one
    When you make new friends who have bikes via bike related media
    When you collect clippings from the paper that are bike related

  32. When your trip to a far away city has "bike shop" on the "to see list" ahead of museums, jazz clubs and Civil war battle sites - you just might be a bike nut.

    When you willingly ride your Raleigh 3 speed further in one day than you usually drive your car in a week - you just might be a bike nut.

    When you seriously consider what it would cost to build an indoor velodrome so you can ride all winter - you just might be a bike nut.

    When you check the weather site each morning for wind direction and speed - you just might be a bike nut.

    When you check the Lovely Bicycle! site each morning before you check the weather site - you just might be a bike nut.

    When you contemplate selling your classic Norton motorcycle to buy an A. Homer Hilsen -you just might be a bike nut.

  33. when you see the temp is 72 degrees and you think seat tube and head tune angles. ;-)

  34. My last girlfriend continued to be amazed that my head turning wasn't to look at other women (I mean, really!), it was to check out bikes!

    Driving a car for the first time in years, encountering a steep hill, my left hand went down to the nonexistent shifter for the granny ring!

    Enjoying your blog Velouria, perhaps almost as much as you're enjoying Vienna?

  35. - When you empty your pockets at the end of the day, and instead of coins, you find obscure bike hardware bits.

  36. ... when you tell your wife "I was just checking out her derailleur" (and it's true).

  37. "..When you leave a bike at your work place for running errands, and still have two more in your apartment."


  38. When you check Craigslist every day in hopes of snagging a Miyata 1000 or a Raleigh International—for $50.

    When, if you start reading a thread on Bike Forums, you have to read every comment, even if there are five pages of them.

    When you have to make an emergency roadside repair and you ask yourself, "What would Grant/Jan/Sheldon do?"

    When you count Velouria among your favorite people on earth, even though you've never met her.

    1. I got my Miyata, but it's a "seven-ten"

  39. Liz said, "When you try to drive your car up a sidewalk ramp that you normally ride your bike up. "

    Woah, girl!


  40. -When you have a bell mounted on the steering wheel of your car.

    -Your house is decorated with bike art.

  41. When in your car you find yourself driving in the bike lane and your first thought is not, "OMG I'm in the bike lane!" but, "why doesn't this bike fit between the lines?" :s b

  42. just seen this...I have a fascination with hubgears! Whenever I see a bike, I look at the back wheel and lose interest immediately if it doesn't have at least a SA 3 speed. I can walk into a bikeshop and, if there isn't at least one hubgeared bike, come out feeling disappointed. Seeing a fully loaded Dutch town bike (hubgears, dynamo light, rack, Brooks, fenders, basket) gives me a buzz & reminds me most what I like about town bikes & biking.


  43. ...when you go to park the car in the garage, see your old faithful Raleigh Chiltern 3-speed, and you SIMPLY MUST hop on and ride it around the block, while your wife stares at you, waiting to let her in.

  44. That describes me to a "T". Although i photograph them, i love taking pictures of bikes, i'm in the process of creating a blog with all the pictures that i have taken.

  45. this post is hilarious! Keep the bicycling obsessions coming, guys!

  46. Since we're talking about obsession, a martini glass should be held by the stem, not the bowl, so as to keep the contents colder.

    The most informative website I have found on the general subject:

  47. It's lovely to hear that someone else has the 'bike bug'. I now have friends who will take pictures off dutch style bikes for me when they are out and about.
    The other I walked past a lovely dutch bike, beautifully decorated, I turned to my fiend and said "Look how pretty that is", she thought I was talking about a man walking past but I hadn't noticed him :)

  48. When you are walking at the front of a group of friends down a street and you find yourself pointing to holes and obstacles in your path...


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