N + 1

This morning the Fates finally took pity on me and revealed which pile my bicycle tire pump was hiding under in my garage. Elated, I re-inflated the tires on my road bicycle, rolled up my pant leg (the height of bicycle commuter chic), and took off for work.

I had been riding my beach cruiser back and forth and while the sprung saddle and super wide tires are fun, it’s not exactly the most finely tuned machine and trying to get it rolling faster than a pleasant meander is an exercise in futility.

My road bike, while far from a racing machine, rolls along very smoothly and is actually quite fun to zip around on and mix it up in traffic. Sure, you feel every bump in the road and getting the seat and handlebars dialed in perfectly takes a bit of fiddling, but for all that it’s fun in a totally different way from the cruiser.

All of this is simply a ridiculously long way of saying that I finally get what bicycle enthusiasts have been saying forever. They claim that the proper number of bicycles to own is best described by the following formula:


Where N equals the number of bicycles one currently owns.

Perhaps this seems like a thinly veiled excuse for conspicuous consumption, and I suppose on some level it is, but I still had an awful lot of fun this morning pretending that I was a very fast rider. This afternoon I find myself imagining reliving my youth on a seriously overbuilt mountain bike bombing down a twisty track (there are no hills within a 100 miles), or loaded with the kitchen sink winding my way across the country (um, kids?) on a custom-built touring machine.

Whatever, it was a fun daydream while it lasted. To what do you apply the principle of N+1, Dear Readers?


3 thoughts on “N + 1

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