So let me introduce you to the significant others currently in my life. Firstly, we have Susanna. She’s my Orbea Dama road bike and she’s 2 1/2. Now Susanna is definitely a princess. She doesn’t like getting dirty, riding rough, and woe betide anyone who treats her roughly. She’s happiest riding hotmix, or being leaned up against the fence at our favourite coffee shops. She’s currently awaiting a bit of a makeover (I have beautiful light blue bar tape to put on her, which I think will make her very pretty).
Next, we have Cameron. She’s the tomboy of the family. She’s a Giant Trance 1, probably now 4 years old. 4 inches of travel, she’s happiest in the dirt. Not a big fan of mud (as I found out at Capital Punishment a couple of years ago, when I ended the race with one gear, and no brakes – you should have seen the mud – everywhere from my bottom bracket to my shifters and cables… YUK!) I keep thinking of upgrading her to something a bit racier, but every time I ride something technical, I’m thankful for her relaxed geometry.
The next in the family is Olivia. Now Olivia, she’s been with me the longest. She began life as a Shogun drop barred roadie – my first road bike which I bought after my commuter was stolen from outside a police station (I’ll tell you that one another time). After my first Cycle Qld, where I had a spontaneous rear derailleur explosion, I decided to get Susanna (well, I have to confess, it probably wasn’t the mechanical that made me decide to get a new bike, it was riding around all week envying all the other pretty bikes). So after Susanna’s entrance into my life, Olivia got a makeover. She’s now my touring bike. She’s really my project – first of all, she got new bars, shifters and brakes to make her a flat bar roadie, plus racks. After a few cycle tours carrying panniers, and whimpering up the hills, I decided that roadie gearing just wasn’t suited to touring. Consequently, she’s had new cranks and rear cassette, and new derailleurs front and rear to match. Now, all I want to do is replace the frame (to something a little bit more relaxed, with brazons for my rack – I currently thread my rack onto my rear skewer… dodgy I know). She’s kinda like the family axe – been in the family 5 generations, and had 3 new heads and 2 new handles – I don’t really know what is left of the original Olivia, but hey, it’s all good fun.
The final bike in the family is Elriva. Now Elvira is probably the bike I use the least. She used to be Nat’s, but I inherited her. She’s the only bike I have with flat pedals, and non-quick release… anything. Wheels, seatpost, everything are all bolted in. I use her for hacking up to the station, the shops, and anywhere I have to go that requires chaining up a bike and leaving it for long periods of time in dodgy places. The non-quick release helps to stop people walking away with my wheels and seatpost and leaving my frame chained to a lamppost.
And that’s it (for now). The family. You know what they say about the ideal number of bikes though. The ideal number of bikes to own is n+1 where n= the number of bikes you currently own. But hey, currently the garage, and my budget limit my family to a nice round 4.