How many is too many? That kind of question could pertain to almost anything.
The number of T-shirts one might have. The collection of shoes that never get worn. Two or three of everything in tools. Extra reading glasses. A whole drawerful of this and that. I could go on, but you get the picture. At what point, does one have enough?
I suppose the same thing can be said about bicycles; after all, you can only ride one at a time. So how come I have five? And how in the heck did that happen? You better believe it came with my wife's blessing, otherwise that number would be stuck at one or two.
And I'm on the lower end of the scale. While most of the people I cycle with have multiple bikes, I know someone who has 19 and another with more than 30. But who am I to judge? I'm sure there are those who think that having five bikes is a little excessive. And they might be right.
But let me try to explain the how and why.
First, I believe that those who really enjoy cycling tend to "love" each bike they obtain and would find it hard to part with them. Secondly, most of my friends who ride keep their two-wheeled machines in good working order and clean, thus adding to their longevity. Also, like it or not, the cycling industry — in its attempt to stimulate sales and growth — in the last few years has churned out niche bikes for any kind of ride. Road. Gravel. Mountain trails. Snow. Mud. Fitness. On and on.
Anyway, I guess I'm guilty as charged. So, having accumulated nearly 75,000 miles since keeping track back in 2001, here are the bikes I ride:
Bike No. 1:
1988 Schwinn Circuit — This beast has a ton of miles on it and I've participated in quite a few century rides with it. The Circuit was also one of the two bikes I used in my North Carolina to Texas trip. Everything is still original except for the saddle and wheels. Despite being heavy because of its steel frame and fork, it screams down hills; probably the fastest of any of my bikes. I refer to it as my "beater" bike, but it still looks great.
Bike No. 2:
2010 Trek 2.3 — It has an aluminum frame and carbon fork. I actually purchased it in 2001, but the frame developed a crack, so Trek replaced the frame and fork with the 2010 upgrade; it still has the original wheels, etc., but the saddle is different. I used it in last year's Mt. Penn Hill Climb competition in Pennsylvania, which is the photo on the home page of my blog.
Bike No. 3:
2016 Specialized Fatboy fat bike — Obviously, this bike enables me to ride in every season. Pure and simple, it is just plain fun. In the snow, on trails in the woods, in open fields ... everywhere and anywhere.
Bike No. 4:
2017 Trek Domane — The first all-carbon bicycle I have ever had. It's a sweet machine; smooth as silk to ride and is a knockout in looks — and super light. It would be very tough to part with this orange and deep blue bombshell.
Bike No. 5:
2018 Specialized Sports Crux — An all-carbon cyclocross bike, I would have to blame this purchase on my mechanic friend Alan Cunningham at Mathieu's Cycle & Fitness. He let me borrow his Crux for last year's Northwoods Gravel Grind in Rangeley, Maine, and boy did I ever fall head over heels for the way it performed. Luckily, I'd been saving my pennies, because I had to have one. It's great on all kinds of terrain, and I've been using it a lot this spring, because with all the junk on the roads left over from winter, the wider tires offer good stability.
There you have it — all my bikes. I feel very fortunate to have such a stable of rides. While I won't promise to ever stop obtaining bikes, I know I'm set for a very long time. Safe travels!