Recently, I read an article that stated “the number of bikes one should own can be expressed using the formula:
N+1 where N= the number of bikes currently owned
This equation can also be expressed as:
S-1, where S= the number of bikes you can own without your spouse leaving you
As a first time exhibitor at the Outdoor Demo segment of Interbike, these equations have taken on a whole new meaning. My shed is already jam packed with more bikes than I could ever ride (I think it is 12 or 13), however this show has made me realize how many gaps there are in my riding arsenal. The primary purpose for my attendance at the Outdoor Demo was to staff the Osprey Packs booth and demo the new Raptor hydration packs to parched riders who braved the 100+ degree temps to hop on the latest in mountain and road bikes for a ride in the desert of Bootleg Canyon. As these thirsty riders hung out at the Osprey booth and maybe even took advantage of the awesome deals we offered as a fundraiser for the 88bikes Foundation, it gave me time to drool over the coolest innovations the bicycle industry had to offer.
Fortunately, I have not found the exact number equal to S (where your spouse leaves you) but may push the envelope in the near future. Surely my wife will understand that I absolutely need a carbon fiber, geared, 29 inch hardtail for racing 24 Hours in the Sage next year as my current carbon fiber singlespeed will no longer suffice. With Cyclocross season upon us, there is no way I can survive without one of the wicked fast 2011 model upgrades. And then there were all of the super cool cruisers that would make my evening pub commute so much better than my red steel townie that is a dozen years old. The myriad of new road bikes was so overwhelming that I could not possibly limit my purchase to just one.
My wife is very understanding and has never gone beyond a rolling of the eyes and a few basic questions such as “what was wrong with your other bike?” each time I have wheeled a new ride through the living room to find its spot in the bike shed. I have even purchased her a few new bikes in an attempt to minimize the damage. She loves cycling but just doesn’t seem to feel the same need to constantly upgrade equipment as I do. Events such as the Interbike Outdoor Demo are going to make it very difficult for me to maintain that balance found in the S-1 equation.
I prefer to just leave it at N+1 as long as I can sit on a saddle and get the pedals to turn over.