Optimum number of bikes to own = N+1, where N is the number of bikes you currently own.
Variations of this formula attempt to factor in an upper limit of the number of bikes a person may own; a ceiling which would trigger divorce or other undesirable relationship outcome.
Beyond the hazy calculation of a relationship-destroying bike ownership number, there are other practicalities to consider with having many bikes. While it is certainly fun to have a variety to choose from at any point in time, it can also be debilitating. It can take a lot of room to house a hoard of bikes, as well as copious time, money, and effort to properly equip and maintain them. The time to ride and enjoy each bike ultimately suffers.
I have a lot of bikes. I freely admit this. I certainly don't have the largest total of anyone out there, but I have more than anyone I personally know. The household number of bikes has reached peaks in the mid-30s as recently as last Fall, though I'm not certain how many are here at present. Regardless, for a while now, I've felt as though I've been getting close to my ceiling; not fueled by factors of relationship impact, mind you, but more by a sense of feeling bogged down. Thus, I've decided to make some changes.
Some of my bikes I ride a lot. Others, I don't. Some have irrational sentimental value. Others, not so much. Some were acquired for specific purposes or objectives. Others seem to have just appeared, through chance or apathy. Some, but definitely not all, I regard as essential. It is within this web of factors that I've begun to weigh the costs and benefits of retaining each bike.
So, I've embarked upon begun Operation N-1, with the goal of getting to a manageable number while still upholding my bike-centric ideals. Though I don't know what my personal lower-end threshold will be, I'm probably not quite ready to be a one-bike-to-do-everything kind of guy, though that does have some logical appeal.
|The Shogun on the light rail going downtown to meet its new owner.|
|So long, 1981 Trek 710.|
|Adios, Zap Electri Cruiser.|
So there it is. A reduction in my bike fleet, but only the start. I may list some of my bikes that are slated to go on this blog at some point. In the mean time, go ride some of your own fleet, whether that fleet is large or small.