I regret to confirm that I want another bike

A letter to internal stakeholders.

Photo: Viktor Keri/Unsplash

Iain Treloar
by Iain Treloar 08.03.2024 Photography by
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Att: existing bike fleet

In an effort to nip disharmony in the bud and address some persistent rumours that have been circulating in the garage, I am today confirming reports that my mind has strayed to a new bike.  As such, I would like to offer some additional perspective on the factors that have led to this point in our mutual journey. 

As you are aware, there are seven existing bicycles in the garage, spanning a broad swathe of the cycling continuum. I seek to reassure you each of your ongoing relevance to my needs going forward – there will always be a requirement for a cargo trike, a mountain bike, a pure road bike, a gravel bike capable of accommodating two wheel-sizes, a folding bike, a singlespeed, and a CX frankenbike. However, faced with headwinds both literal and metaphorical, and following a period of close consultation with a number of stakeholders – chiefly the devils and angels on my shoulder – I have been forced to concede the need for greater optimisation through broadening the fleet. 

From your perspective as bicycles – most finding your intrinsic purpose when actively ridden – I recognise this news may be seen as an existential threat. However, I have become increasingly invested in the idea that I need to segment my cycling needs into ever-narrower, more specifically-tailored slices. As such, for my urban cycling needs it is no longer acceptable to merely have an old single-speed with a basket and an old CX bike with a front rack and an old folding bike. I have convinced myself that I also need an old rigid mountain bike or hybrid type thing that does essentially the same thing as all of the above, but slightly differently.

To preempt some of your grievances in turn: 

So where does that leave us? If you’ll refer to slide 4 of the attached PowerPoint presentation, I have identified the gap in the garage and provided a relevant position description:

A crude Powerpoint slide marked 'Internal Use only', featuring a picture of an old mountain bike with a modern build. 

Text running down the side reads:
Tentative proposal:
Pedals: flat
Gears: some, but crucially, not too many
Tyres: big, gumwalled
Handlebars: flat
Price: cheap or from the side of the road
Colour: garish
Basket and mudguards: absolutely
Vibe: Retro-chic ratbag
Also wouldn’t mind a crudely-installed dynamo.

In the current landscape, I recognise that this increasing segmentation risks being identified by critical observers as ‘self-indulgent’ or ‘hoarding’. I would counter that any bike rider can likely recognise elements of this internal struggle: the desire to have the perfect tool for a given task, even if that task is to ride said tool for distances greater than 3 km but less than 10 km; take it on the train sometimes; leave it locked up somewhere of intermediate- to advanced-level sketchiness; or, simply, just for the shits and giggles of working on a project in the garage for a night or two, and at the end of it, going “hmm, yes that is another bike that I own”. 

I assure you that when a suitable candidate is identified, I will work to integrate it with existing team members and ensure that all relevant parties retain a sense of purpose as we prepare to enter an exciting new eight-bicycled era. As ever, our internal north star remains ultimate stakeholder satisfaction via the medium of bicycle cycling.

If you wish to discuss this any further, my door is always open. Thank you for your continued service.


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