From one extreme to another – a rationale for more than one bike

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Rider with his extr

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – The optical illusions of the front fork

“This is my work bike. I’ve been on a bike since the first day I could ride as a child and I have done mountain bike marathon rides in the Alps. I’ve been a bicycle messenger for about a year now. In July,  I am heading out to the European Bike Messenger Championships in Copenhagen. Then I will go to Paris for the World Messenger Championships. The Germans are very powerful. The Swiss, also. I am not doing anything special for training. On the job, I ride between 70 and 100 kilometres a day.”

Notes: Cycling can be addictive. Especially if you get your first fix early. There is something fun about the cyclists who are not fixed in one specialty. The riders who move from road to mountain bike, do some racing, them head to touring, then extreme touring. Add a smidgen of life as a bicycle messenger. It might seem odd to some, but it really is fun to keep trying new styles of riding.

I have started thinking this might be the cause of my bicycle collection. I have a roadie and a vintage, then the hybrid city bike, the extreme downhill version. I have spare frames to create a fixie. And then to test them in their correct environs. Test yourself. To take a hard, pannier-laden tour, or, in my plans somewhere, a one-day ride from Brussels to Paris. It will likely kill me, but it keeps teasing me, tempting me, with the idea of riding for 17 hours at a decent speed. I have never done over 200 kilometres in a  single ride before.

The question is, what bike will I ride for the effort?

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