All Quiet

Yesterday, for the first time in almost two years I seriously considered buying another bike. I have yet to decide whether or not I will buy (yet) another bike, but I discovered something about my relationship with cycling in the process.

More astute readers may have noticed that the pace of posts on this site has slowed down somewhat. During this quiet time, cycling has remained my main mode of transport and I cycle approximately 9 miles every weekday as part of my commute, in addition to running errands at the weekend. Despite this, I have not felt the inspiration to post much of anything, or to ride much beyond what I need to do to get around. However, since I started to seriously entertain the possibility of acquiring another bike I have been feeling the call of the pedals and the desire to blog once more.

A scene from this evening’s commute home

It strikes me that a big part of my enthusiasm for cycling (and blogging about cycling) stemmed from a near-constant series of acquisitions of bicycles and bicycle-related stuff in the quest for the ‘perfect’ set-up. Once I had a set-up which worked well for me, the quest was over, or at least it slowed down. Whilst my ideal set-up will naturally change over the course of my life, the significant amount of research, trial and error required to get to what I have now was what kept this blog regularly updated for as long as it was. The problem with having a set-up which works well for your needs is that there is little left to discover, nothing to be researched into meticulously for hours on end. Nothing to blog about.

This realisation led me to notice a pattern. For example, during the time the blog has been quiet, I spent quite a lot of time researching kitchen stand-mixers, intended mainly for the benefit of Ms C’s baking. I wanted to make sure we got the best one that I could also service myself, have good spares availability for years to come at the best price point. Similar to bicycles, there is a surprising amount of information, opinion and even tribalism (Kenwood vs KitchenAid discussions can get just as heated as any obscure bicycle forum thread) surrounding stand mixers. That peculiar world, and many others like it held my attention for much longer than I would have expected them to. Once the stand mixer had been chosen, I ended up learning about bread making, flours grains and a similar series of events occurred all over again.

I suspect that my inspiration to write about bicycles and bicycle-related issues will wax and wane over time as the set-up I have becomes more or less suited to the situations life throws my way. Perhaps the simplest solution would be to turn this blog into one which discusses whatever it is that I’m trying enthusiastically to perfect at any given time.


5 thoughts on “All Quiet

  1. Very true how your bike changes with you over the years.
    Over the last few years I have settled on a Scott sub 10 with an Alfine 8 speed internal hub as my 2 bikes of choice.
    One is chain driven and the other is belt driven. I have no real preference over which except the belt drive is clean and quiet and ideal if you dont want any oil on you when going out.
    Both bikes have had suspension forks, dyno hubs and the usual racks, mudguards and tyres of choice fitted.
    It was only the other day after picking up the older one from the LBS after having well earned new set of hydraulic brakes and crank fitted that it was pointed out to me that only the frame and back wheel are now original!
    Point of the matter is that with time you can’t even buy of the shelf a new bike but buy the components to created your very own mean machine.

    • All the bikes are now quite far removed for their original (or any manufacturer-offered) specification. I’d love to get some custom parts machined if it wasn’t for the price and the fear that i would become addicted to it.

  2. Also glad to see you back!

    Writing a blog can be tough, especially if you lose the enthusiasm, or you don’t feel like you have anything to write about. Like you, I’ve fiddled about with my different bikes and have acquired some through the years of blogging. (In fact, may be picking up another one at some point in 2014.) I don’t think I’ve found the “perfect” setup just yet, nor do I think I may ever will. But I feel like I’ve made progress over the years.

    What makes it easier is that I have other bike-related things I like to write about. I like advocacy/activism, but it’s never been my bloggy focus and I don’t feel like I’m the best to write about it, so I leave it to others more articulate in that department. But I really like long rides, rambles, camping, and touring, and am always doing “something” with those. It seems like I get the most interest when I talk about geeky bike stuff (and I love reading about it too), but writing about bicycle adventures is more fulfilling to me.

    Maybe that’s what you need: a full blown bicycle adventure to write about! Let me know if you need to borrow a tent. 😉

  3. I’m not sure blogs are suited to hobbies or interests.

    It is too much to expect one person to keep up a constant flow of interesting, new information, just as it is on newer internet phenomena like Twitter and Facebook..

    Forums seem better to me.

    They offer everyone the opportunity to drop in and out as they see fit, and they can store useful info better for longer..

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