Sometimes life throws you a lemon. Don’t get me wrong – first world problem hit me today. I’m chilling on Whidbey Island for the week, and my wife and daughter went back to the mainland for a cat feeding, and shopping expedition (the cat stays home in Seattle). I wanted to ride to the local Ace Hardware to get a steelhead jig for shore fishing. I planned on doing the ride with my Toussaint, but when I went to get it from the garage, I found the front tire nearly empty. It appears that one of my rides to the beach brought it in contact with a shell shard that caused a slow leak.
These tires are in a tubeless config, but I haven’t added any sealant in about 8 months, and that seems to be too long (a friend refills every 6 months or so). I pulled the shard and spun the wheel a bit after pumping them back up, so we’ll see if it holds, but I’m doubtful. Lemons.
Did this stop my jaunt to Ace? Hell no. I just jumped on my backup bike! I have my old Stumpjumper Pro from 1991, and the tires had air. No fenders, but it is cold and clear with no water on the roads, so no worries. I was out and back in less than an hour, and even felt that old early ’90’s rigid mountain bike feeling sensing even some of the same smells I remember from riding my first real MTB. The brain is a weird organ.
I read a lot of folks talking about getting an “extra set of wheels” or a “different cockpit” for different kind of rides. In my experience, you can often pick up a whole bike to do what you want for the same price as the parts to rebuilt your existing frame into something else.
Having another bike gives you more time to ride. There are less excuses needed. I read a great statistical analysis of Seattle commuters using the Fremont Bridge route. One of the points was a look at how rain affects commuting (spoiler – it does). If you had a backup bike, say like a “beater” that had fenders and tough tires, you would have less reason not to bike in the rain, right?
In my case, most all my bikes have fenders, but I find myself pulling my Miyata out for rain duty more often than my other, nicer bikes. It still rides like a dream, and looks great with the hammered Honjo fenders, but I don’t mind if it gets soaked, muddy, put away wet, etc…