Thursday, March 15, 2012


Tonight I almost sold my Surly Long Haul Trucker. Wow, that was close.

On my recent personal study into minimalism and ultimately consumerism, I've been giving a lot of thought to things I own, and things I consider buying. This has been on my mind a lot and for several years and it's manifestations are quite noticeable. When I used to just go and and buy something I thought was cool, I now carefully consider the purchase. Even if the battle to have it is won in my head, it rarely materializes when I'm in the store. Most often I'll pick up said thing, start toward the cashier, and somehow end up turning around, putting it back and walking out of the store with empty hands. It's not for a lack of funds, it's not for a lack of want, but it's for a new sense of simplicity, unclutterment and a satisfaction and contentment that comes from focusing on what I already do have and finding pleasure in them. I have so much to be grateful for and certainly don't need more stuff. It's a lovely life.

The other side of the minimalism thing is to clear out things that I already do have and just don't use. My bike collection has been culled considerably. I've sold all of the not-so-fancy bikes and project bikes. My Karate Monkey went last fall, and for the last several months I've had my LHT listed for sale in the local classifieds. Maybe it was the winter and time spent off the bike. Maybe it's simply the fact that I just don't ride it as much as I used to. I'd felt good about sending it off and reducing my collection even further. I hadn't had many calls about it until this week, I found a buyer. I'm almost certain that the deal would have gone though tomorrow evening as planned if it weren't for me backing out.

Before I'd changed my mind about selling, I threw it up on the bike stand, started removing the bits that weren't for sale (B-17, King cages, Schmidt dyno-light etc) and started admiring the bike again. Nothing fancy, but a good bike. I'd waited about two years before finally deciding to buy it. I ordered it up from my LBS and I had Peter White build up the front dyno-wheel. I put a lot of thought into that bike. It was the first bike I'd ever ordered and built up just how I wanted it and it meant more to me than any other bike before, and any other bike since. There's just no way I can sell this bike.

Minimalism or not, this bike and I aren't parting ways for a while. It's a good, simple machine and I like it.

Photo: expired Kodak Gold 200 on a 1965 Konica Reflex T


Pondero said...

I keeping picking the first one to sell, ride it again, conclude that I was wrong about my choice, then restart the entire simplification process again.

Jon said...

Every bike that I currently ride was built up, by me, from a bare frame. I understand, fully the difficulty in letting go of one you built. It is not just a vehicle, but a bit of an extension of yourself.

Some of mine seem more like art projects than bikes, to me, at times. And, all of them seem to speak to me in ways that mere possessions don't. I never miss an old computer, for instance, once it has been replaced, even though I use my computer on a near-constant basis. But I find myself missing bikes like I miss pets after they are gone.

To use a rather hackneyed phrase; I feel your pain.