Only one?


No.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t consider the idea.  I borrowed the illustration above from one of my prior posts in response to a mental exercise proposed by Singularity in his post here.

I think I have an unfair advantage with an exercise like this.  I have a more narrow range of use than many.  I don’t race, go on long epic hard rides, do cross country tours, or do any technical off-road riding.  I don’t even commute on my bike.  I live in a rural area with no big climbs.  My riding environment is gently rolling terrain, paved and unpaved country roads, and very little traffic.

Call Your Shot

My needs and wants are basically limited to rambles across the countryside.  The variation  can be summarized with three categories, (1) short, spirited rides with virtually no load, primarily on paved roads, (2) my typical half-day outings with food, coffee, camera, and clothing layers on paved and gravel roads, and (3) overnight camping, including exploring a few non-technical off-road trails.

One Frameset

My frameset of choice is the Rivendell Quickbeam.  The photo below illustrates my typical (category 2) build.  This is the baseline, and my other categories could be satisfied with only a few simple variations.


Multiple Wheelsets are Permitted

Having three wheelsets is the key to my plan.  In addition to the wheels shown above with Schwalbe Marathon Dureme 38mm tires and a 17t fixed cog, I’d propose two other sets of wheels.  For spirited riding, something like Grand Bois Cypres 32mm tires and a 15t/16t flip-flop fixed option would satisfy any desire I might have for more speed.  For camping and off-road exploration, some kind of knobbly 40mm CX tire and a 18t fixed cog would be fine.  If conditions get too rough, I’ll walk.


The only other details needed to cover my needs would be racks and bags.  I have a Nitto Front rack that I could mount up front and a Nitto Big Rear Rack for the back.  I also already have assorted panniers, saddlebags, and handlebar bags to easily mount/remove to meet any load carrying needs.


I’m confident that a Quickbeam and a quiver of wheels could pretty much cover my bicycle excursion needs.  From spirited riding with a lightish bike, to camping and trail rides, I’d be covered.  As shown in the photo above, I’m already set-up for most of what I do on a bicycle.  There is one nagging problem with my plan.  It doesn’t include a back-up bike.  Although that doesn’t apply to this exercise, I need a good back-up bike.  Serving that role will be my recently replaced (and soon to be built) A. Homer Hilsen…which basically could be built up with gears to do any of the things I mentioned above.  I might one day get to only one.  For now, however, I’ve convinced myself I can at least go down to only two.

So my other three bikes (MAP, Kogswell P/R, and Trek 660) are officially all for sale.




(In route to a pleasant place)


Today’s post is a voluntary blog assignment.  The idea is to ride to a place you enjoy and do a short photo-journalism description.  In the winter, I am sometimes not motivated to spend several hours out in a cold wind.  But, because of stunning blue skies contrasted by a thousand shades of golden brown, I am quite motivated to get out of the house, take a short ride out to a pleasant place, and savor the surroundings for awhile.  Here’s an example of a typical short winter ride on a chilly, windy morning.  I found a nice spot out of the wind to pause and enjoy a hot coffee.  Here is one of my “places”, and (after the first two “in route” photos) it looks like this…



(Sometimes a good hilltop place to pause, but too windy today, keep going…)





(Ahh…perfect, a sunny spot with trees shielding the wind)


(My roadside place, looking west)


(Looking east)


(Looking down)



(Looking up)

I’d be interested to see your places.  Whether urban or rural, solo or group, and self-portrait or not, how about showing me one of your favorite places?  If you are up for this assignment, please let me know.  Feel free to post links to your blog here so others can also enjoy.

Winter Grey


When wandering familiar places…


…disguised in unusually cloudy, misty, and foggy conditions…


…and the tactile sensation of dirt and gravel roads whose dust is replaced with the softness of moisture…


…there is refreshing discovery…like the newness in a spouse after many years of marriage.

Ain’t No Rando

MAP side


The MAP is for sale.

$1800 for frame, fork,  headset, front rack/decaleur, front braze-on derailleur, and polished pump. I will consider a complete bike sale if desired.

Last summer’s rando experiment was successful. I learned I ain’t no rando. This bike did allow me to go faster and farther than in recent years, but I realize rides of about half a day are generally long enough. And I seem to have lost interest in any kind of sense of urgency. As several correctly predicted, I miss my A. Homer Hilsen.  I have learned that I prefer the ride sensations of my Rivendell Quickbeam after all, and want to resume my S240 practices. So I need to sell the rando for financial resources.

I need a camping bike. I wonder if I could track down the ol’ Hilsen…?