I JUST READ THAT JAY LENO OWNS ABOUT 135 automobiles and about 90 motorcycles. (I’m not sure he knows the exact number.) That seems like too many to me, but if you can afford it, who’s to say what’s too many?
Seven years ago I was out shopping for my first good bike in over 25-years. The salesman said something to me that I thought was a little presumptuous. He said, "If you'll come back to me when you buy your next bike, I'll give you 15% off the retail price."
I thought to myself: Hmmm, I don't think I'll be buying another bike like this for a good long time—if ever. I was 52 at the time and spending over $1600. I was sure I’d be riding this bike for many years to come. But, I smiled and said, "Okay, I'll keep that in mind."
And, it's true; I'm still riding my Bad Boy Ultra. I still think it's a cool bike, one that is effective on the road and can be easily adapted for off road.
But I'm also riding three other road bikes that I've purchased since that day and a couple of other older bikes. The salesman obviously knew what I didn't know. And that is, when you're a passionate, serious cyclist, having more than one bike is a very common thing. Buying a new bike is a little like a serious golfer buying a new club. There's something about the feel of it, the heft of it, the way it handles that's just new and exciting. And sometimes, that additional purchase happens over and over again. I mean after all, there are steel bikes, carbon fiber bikes, aluminum, titanium, and of course the latest in fashion cycling--bamboo! Then, there are mountain bikes, and, well the list goes on.
Sometimes you become a collector
Cyclists don't always buy new bikes either. Sometimes riding an old classic Schwinn will take you back to a simpler time. Or you'll come across that Western Flyer that you owned when you were 12-years old, that you just have to have. I know cyclists who only have one bike, but I know more who have three bikes, or seven bikes, or twelve bikes. And all of them get ridden over the course of a year.
The serious cyclist, whether he owns one bike or many, generally also owns most of the accessories and tools that he needs. Before the economy bottomed out I went on a tool buying frenzy. And, just last week on Twitter I posted, “I just discovered I own 15 jerseys. Should I be embarrassed?” My followers answered with a resounding, NO! In fact most of my tweeps had way more than I did.
So the question becomes: How much of a good thing is enough? The answer to that question is, of course, a personal one. But ask yourself these questions.
- How much do I love the sport?
- How much time do I spend on the bike?
- Will I actually use more stuff if I have it, or will it sit in the garage or the closet to impress my friends?
- And perhaps most important: Will I get support for the purchase from the family CFO?
All this stuff is healthy for me
I look at it this way. Cycling is my main outdoor sport, and I love it. It makes me strong. It keeps me youthful. It bolsters my immune system. It keeps my weight in check and helps me sleep better. (It also got rid of a nasty cholesterol problem.) These are all good things.
Immersion in my sport is important to me. I enjoy having bikes, new and old, and the equipment to make the most of them.
In this scenario, can more really be too much?