Pointless bicycles, and why we ride them



 

In case you are feeling less than optimal because of the weather, virus, politicians, current radio, or anything else really, this may help you beat those equinoxial blues. Check out the beautiful, functional, but probably pointless craftsmanship on this bicycle, the closest thing I have seen to a genuine hot rod that isn't a pre-war Ford.

 IMAGE NICKED FROM THERADAVIST.COM, A VERY FINE WEBSITE

This bike sort of sums up how I feel about bicycles, and a life that revolves around them.

I can’t think of a specific outing where the features of this bike would make it the one to choose from a performance standpoint. But still, I can’t stop looking at it. It’s cool, end of story.

There is a bike in our stable that is functionally similar, being a rigid steel beast with oversize tyres, with the added convenience of gears. It’s the one at the top of the page, a Surly Krampus.

It was added to the row of hooks in the shed because I thought I was going to take a month off and ride the length of the country. That still hasn’t happened, and if it did the jury is out on whether the Krampster would get the nod, but the bike has been out for many happy kilometres of semi-controlled hijinks. 

If I had somehow got my claws on this bike during the first ten years of my mountain biking career, it would have been a mind-blowing contraption from the future. Ten speed drivetrain, one chainring! Functional disk brakes! Geometry created for off-road - all the mountain bikes in the early 90s were basically what we call gravel bikes now, except they had flat bars, and the brakes were dodgy. Nowadays, Mr K sits in a similar slot to the bike with the copper brake lines - not really perfect for anything, but a lot of fun on certain days. 

When the weather is crusty and I feel guilty about riding in the trails, taking the hellbeast for a spin on the gravel roads with a few connections on selected dirt is a completely different experience to the one I could have on the ‘mountain bike’. For some reason, I can’t ride it without smiling. Sometimes, if I take the wrong detour, and find myself on a trail with some drop-offs and roots I had forgotten about, I actually laugh out loud. 

So would you, if you were watching.



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