Monday, December 3, 2012

I Never Asked for a Honeymoon

Autumnal Seven
When it comes to new bike ownership, cyclists will often talk about the so-called honeymoon phase. Symptoms include: lack of interest in looking at other bikes, thinking that everything about the new bike is "perfect," even finding its flaws endearing. It's more than about enjoying the bike. It's like being under its spell. Some describe this as the magic faerie dust effect.

In the past, I don't think that I've gone through honeymoon phases with my bikes exactly. I am by nature analytical and tend to see things from several perspectives at once. Even in the beginning, when I was extremely excited about my first beautiful new bike, I was all the while looking at it critically. Its purchase did not diminish my curiosity about other bikes in its category, but increased it. It was in fact through comparing other bikes to mine and noticing differences, that I became interested in bicycle design. The same can be said for all of my bicycle buying and selling since: There was excitement and enjoyment, but never really a rose coloured glasses type honeymoon period. It was more about experimenting and staying open to other possibilities. Considering my interest in bicycle reviews, design, framebuilding and such, I think this is a useful attitude to have.

So it has thrown me for a loop to realise that maybe, just maybe I am in a prolongued honeymoon phase with my Seven roadbike, which I've been riding since Spring of this year. The symptoms are there: Everything about it feels "perfect." The fact that it's welded and has a carbon fork somehow only accentuates its charm, even as I wax lyrical about lugs. And more disturbingly, I have lost interest in other bikes in its category. This last part is a problem! I would like, in theory to keep trying other roadbikes and comparing them, thereby learning more about the feel of different frame materials and different handling characteristics. But in practice, I don't really want to ride bikes other than my own just yet. If it's a different style of bike for different kinds of riding, I am as enthusiastic about experimenting as ever. But for roadcycling on pavement, I would rather be on my own bike. It's as if I haven't had enough of it yet, even after 2,000 miles. The decals are peeling, but the proverbial luster apparently remains. I hope to get over this soon. Until then, you are unlikely to see much in the way of roadbike test-rides here.

Have you gone through a honeymoon phase with any of your bikes? What has it been like, and what happens afterwards?

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