Here was the thought process in preparation for a Saturday morning bicycling errand run, which occurred while wrinkles were pressed out of pairs of khakis, medical scrubs and shirts:
The impending bike ride was to get medication for aging dogs from the vet's office, lunch and then quick jaunt to the library.
The single-speed mountain bike was out. That's equipped with heavy lugged tires, and meant for winter riding. The streets were mostly cleared of snow, and riding that, or the other mountain bike used for riding trails, was quickly dismissed. Riding a mountain bike of any kind on a normal street is annoying and useless, like a driving a Hummer in Manhattan. (Or any just about any other place on planet Earth.)
The carbon-fiber racing bike was out. Even though the glaciers have receded from our streets, they are still wet and sandy, and the racing bike is too nice for that. Besides, for errands, that's just not the right ride. Errands require locking the bike up, getting off it, walking around and carrying junk. Wearing biking shoes with cleats and leaving a $2,000 bike outside while eating a hamburger makes no sense. Using a racing bike for that kind of ride is akin to using a Ferrari to take your leaves to the yard waste site. Utterly ridiculous.
There's the red touring bike, a sturdy, steady ride. The fenders were taken off it last fall because they rattled annoyingly, and that bike has taken on a sort of bad-weather-trainer role. It would be a good choice for this kind of ride, because it is rugged, fairly fast and efficient. But the streets were wet. Was the speed worth the trade-off for a soaked rear-end which would be uncomfortable in a library and restaurant? Hmm. Not today.
So it was the Rixe. This is a white bike with chrome fenders and an upright riding position like that of the famed "Dutch" bikes. It is slow, heavy, and a bit too small. But for this ride, it's the best option available. Problem solved!
Or was it? There were thoughts that maybe a new bike should be considered, one specifically designed for city riding and commuting. Some of them have built in locks, which would be really convenient.
At this juncture in the thought process, it was about time to leave on the actual journey. The iron was put away, clothes folded and there was the thinking about what would be needed for the trip. Backpack, gloves, reflective pants guards, etc. All was well.
But then this thought popped into mind:
Was I thinking too much about bikes and biking? Was this a healthy way to expend the resources of time and energy for a seemingly well-balanced adult person?
I don't know. That's the real cycling conundrum.
Keith Uhligís blog veers toward outdoor silent sports, running, biking, kayaking, etc., but also can be about eating cheese, growing up and living in central Wisconsin and life in general. You can reach Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org.