Bike Shopping

I love my bike. I learned to be a bike commuter with Stella. She has been there through ups (10th Ave, you are getting so much easier!) and downs. I’ve fallen in love with my city all over again from the bicycle seat. 

Now that I’ve been riding with Stella nearly every day for 6 months, I’ve learning a lot more about what I want/need in a bike.

  • Comfort. Must be able to ride long distances. Stella is pretty good, but I haven’t gone much more than 20 miles in a day with her.
  • Low enough gearing for Seattle’s many evil hills. Stella doesn’t have this. But my legs have begun to adapt.
  • The ability to carry dog food home without feeling extremely unstable.. along with my purse, other shopping items, etc. And maybe even my dog.
  • Lightweight when not fully loaded. I want to be able to lift my bike onto the bus racks. 
  • Room for fenders. Sometimes it rains in Seattle.
  • Classic style / vintage look. Headbadges, lugged frame construction

A big goal of mine is to complete a century ride. I don’t know if can/should do that with Stella. So now I’m trying to decide if I need to buy one or *two* additional bikes. While Stella is great, she really shouldn’t be my primary commuting bike/grocery getter. I need some kind of utility bike for that. I’ve considered the Civia Loring, but we don’t have enough space to keep so many bikes. If a century is my goal.. the Loring is not the bike. And I just don’t want to spend over $1K on a bike that has somewhat limited functionality. 

Ecovelo wrote this great post describing how commuter bikes and touring bikes aren’t really all that different. I’ve been torn between purchasing a touring bike or a commute bike for about 3 months now. I’d like to get something inbetween… the best of both worlds. But then I fear that perhaps the middle bike is really just average for both activities, and not really great for either. Velouria from Lovely Bicycle somewhat recently posted about this Mirage of the Perfect Bicycle.

There seems to be no right answer…

So, I’ll just leave you with a lovely little bike video. 

bike ♥ from Rick Darge on Vimeo.