20 July 2011

A Tipping Point And A Sea Change

I never saw this day coming...

Most of us, by the time we get to a certain age, make this declaration (perhaps with a sigh) over one thing or another.  Some of us never thought we'd be working in the jobs or careers in which we've found ourselves.  Others never thought we'd see our kids (fill in the blank).  Still others never thought they'd see the day they'd buy a non-American car--until, of course, they bought their Camries.  And then there are those who never,ever thought they'd eat raw fish and rice until they had sushi.

Well, I am having a "I never imagined this would happen" moment.  In my case, it's neither a good nor a bad thing.  All I can say is that it, looking back, it seems inevitable (Doesn't everything, in retrospect?) and I'm rather enjoying?

So what is this milestone in my life?  Well, I now have five bikes.  That ties my personal record, which I last achieved about a dozen years ago.  However, I don't have any of the five bikes I had then. 

You see, of the five bikes I now have, I acquired three specifically because of something that's happened in my life since I had those other five bikes. And I got the other two because of the ways I think about my riding and my bikes has changed since my life-changing event.

Some of you who have been following this blog (or my other) may have already guessed what's happened.  I reached a tipping point last week when Miss Mercian II arrived at my door:  I now own more "women's" than "men's" bikes. Specifically, I now have three mixte and two diamond frames.

Hey, we're talking about something even more important--at least for me--than the Senate going to the Republicans or the House to the Democrats.  I can already feel the ground shifting under me or, at least, the road conditions changing under my tires.  Yes, it really is Ariel's "sea change" in The Tempest.

All right, so I was being just a little hyperbolic.  (Is "a little hyperbolic" an oxymoron?)  But just today it occured to me "girls rule," if you will, in my bike stable.  Back when I had those other five bikes, if you had told me this day would come, I would have said that you've been inhaling helium out of inner tubes.

I had thought about selling or giving Marianela away. The former wouldn't bring me very much cash, really.  The latter option might be a nice thing to do.  I've already given one bike to an organization that helps immigrant workers; perhaps someone else could benefit from the largesse. 

Then again, I could leave her locked up outside and use her for errands that are really short or that take me to high-risk places.  She's serving that purpose now, and she has been my regular commuter and transportation bike.  So she'll get a lighter workload, which she might appreciate. And I could also use her as a loaner or guest bike.

But most important, if I want to keep that majority for which I've fought long and hard ;-), I've got to keep her!


  1. So, will I have reached a tipping point when over half our family bikes have 700c tires? Right now we still have more 27" wheels.

  2. Steve, when your 700 C wheels start to outnumber your 27" rounds, you will starts saying "gruppo" instead of "group" and "peloton" instead of "pack" in conversations that have absolutely nothing to do with cycling! ;-)