I fall in love with the big heavy studded tire monstrosity known as "Mutant Winter" in the Fall. I mean, I can ride over or through just about anything on it. And it has gears, 8 of 'em! It has the 2nd sexiest plastic tub in the city. It has pink brake cables. It is caked in road sludge and has rusty fender stays. It is slow-ish. It is perfect.
I also fall in love with a fixed gear commuter known simply as "Summer" each Spring. It is light and practical and fast-ish. It sports panniers of deep philosophical meaning that came from across the sea. It is my best build so far. It needs new bar tape and brake pads. It is perfect.
Once I have switched bikes with the seasons, I don't like going back. I like settling into the clothing and daily packing and riding patterns associated with each commuter bike and staying there. I also like to equip the bike with appropriate tubes and tools and just leave them on board rather than transferring stuff from one bike to another. I've been holding off on switching to "Summer" because there's a chance snow will fly again, but I can't take riding "Mutant Winter" in such fine weather any longer. Plus, MW's bottom bracket has passed well beyond creaking; it sounds like there are broken marbles in it. The whole bike needs a complete tear-down. Thus I have resolved to ride Summer through anything nasty that comes up between now and hot weather.
Anyway, I love them both, but at different times. If they were women, it would be like having two wives I totally adored and lived with exclusively depending on the season; a more solidly built one for winter and a lighter, more athletic one for summer. Both would be practical life-partner types who selflessly support me in getting through my day-to-day existence.
Original artwork: Fernando Botero - Woman With Pearls
Original artwork: Domenico Ghirlandaio - Portrait of a Woman
The thing is, I want more. Don't get me wrong, riding for practical reasons through the work week brings me joy every time I do it, but I'm ready for some weekend fun. As some of you may know, I've got a Trek 520 frame I've been meaning to do something with. Unfortunately, there has been little cash and even less time available to apply to my project, and I have not progressed beyond having a frame and wheels. Just the same, my heart (if not my shed) definitely has room for a third bike. This time, the kind of woman she would be changes entirely, since the bike isn't about day-to-day practicality, but rather about a partner for weekend adventures:
Original artwork: Emily Balivet - The Muse of Music
Now you can correct me of course, but I'm guessing that "Mutant Winter" and "Summer" might have a problem with my built-for-weekend-fun-bike-woman friend that I will name "Highway":
Yep, it sure would be awful, if it weren't for this staggeringly wonderful fact: They are all bikes. They don't care. In fact, they are not capable of caring, because they are just things. Holy man, do I love bikes. I love them most for what they are, but it would seem that I also love them for what they are not.