I once was told from a trusty source that there was a formula for the number of bikes one should own. Simple enough, the formula was N+1. Of course, I was curious to know what the formula was, but he was quick to put me off before telling me one of his long-winded cycling stories surrounding the love of our beloved sport on two wheels.
Being Valentines, I decided that my wife needed that brand new set of pedals for her sleek carbon road bike, an ergonomic set of titanium handle-bars and the newest moisture-wicking wind resistant, aerodynamic spandex tights that fit snugly for optimum performance. The only problem was that my wife doesn’t own a bike.... and all of the above only came in my size.
So out I went with my trusty friend to buy them anyway. I figured she would understand.
The day went on, and with the story-teller at my side, I decided that maybe, on a hunch, I should pick something up for my wife that vaguely resembled a Valentines gift.
I was appalled when the store manager told me that he couldn’t sell me chocolate or jewelry, or for that matter a nice lovey card for my wife. I responded, “What kind of lousy bike shop are you running anyway?”. He stood there motionless.
So I bought myself a nice riding jersey. I figured my wife would be so happy to see me all buff every time I was about to go out for a ride.
Feeling somewhat guilty, I pressed on to search out that card, and with a stroke of luck, found one with the picture of two lovebirds... cycling off into the sunset. Perfect. It was genius on my part.
I got sidetracked soon after that... after bumping into a few old friends. A few beers later, having shared a lifetime of not-quite true tales of cycling bravery, I realized I had missed the dinner date with my wife at the espresso bar... of my local bike shop. It was supposed to be the end to a perfect day, and now I was destined for the couch and a few days of uneasy silence.
She took a cab home that night, and hid my bike in the garage of our neighbour. I admit, I deserved it, and spent the rest of my evening in my room.... reading the latest issue of Bicycling Magazine.
But like the love we have for our bikes and the people we meet along the way, the relationships we forge in the cycling community, and the gear we continually seek out to better our rides, I have learned the importance of expressing our love to our partners as well, because they need it too....
After all, she hasn’t thrown me out of the garage yet.
PS…. N+1? Simple: The number of bikes you own….plus one....
(From "The Rules", www.velominati.com)