Earlier this week, a favorite blog of mine, “Lovely Bicycle,” wrote about beater bikes. Velouria’s angle was to spotlight a new line of inexpensive bikes with the brand name, “Beater,” that are designed to fill the same role as a run-of-the-mill beater bike would fill.
And it got me thinking — I don’t really have a beater bike of my own, do I? If I do need a bike I can hop on for a trip to the store, or to run an errand or two, or to serve as transportation in the rain, I don’t really have anything to fill that role, do I?
And then it occurred to me — I do. I’ve got that mountain bike. The one I never ride. The one I put the rear rack on because I was going to make it an errand bike. The one I put narrower, smoother-treaded tires on, because those big knobbies weren’t a lot of fun to ride on on pavement.
But the mountain bike is, above all, a mountain bike, and today I actually rode it for its intended purpose — I took it out and rode some of the bike trails in South Austin. More about that experience in another post. My point today is, if I’m going to use the mountain bike for trail riding, it’s not really a beater, is it? It’s my mountain bike, and I still have to find something to serve as my go-to for everything else bike.
Well, maybe not. The great thing about the mountain bike is that it’s designed to be bashed around. I sure clunked the pedals and chain stays against enough rocks today. There’s no reason I can’t ride it to the store, or on rainy days if I don’t want to ride my road bike then.
All right, then — I do have a beater bike, even if it’s one in pretty good shape. And frankly, given my past record at using the bike as a utility vehicle, I probably won’t do most of those things.
How about you? Do you have bike that is a jack-of-all-trades, that can fill any role that your “main” bike — be it road or mountain — doesn’t fill? What kind is it? How do you use it? Is it a rolling wreck, or is it still a spiffy ride?