My personal cycling philosophy

I like speed as much as the next guy, but I'm not racin', or time-trialing, so I don't ride a racin' bike. I'm a casual rider. I like to sit up. I like to coast. I have the luxury of riding as slowly as I want. I'd be a bike commuter if I could, but my job requires that I drive a car. A lot.

I don't always wear a helmet when I ride. I'm not advocating that you or anyone else take unnecessary risks, I just don't always like to have a helmet on. I also would rather wear street clothes when I ride: comfy shoes, regular shorts, etc.

I prefer riding older, used and recycled bikes. Not that new stuff isn't cool, even superior, but I like old-school geometry, the way good steel frames ride, I like wider tires, and I prefer a more upright, less aggressive position on the bike. My budget likes the old used stuff better than new stuff, too.

I like to ride single speeds. It's an ironic truth that while sometimes 27 speeds can be insufficient, one gear is often enough. If the pitch becomes too steep, I don't mind walking a bit. Although I have a road bike, with gears, I like also having a bike that does not have gears, as a matter of choice. And that single-speed is often my ride of choice over the geared bike, because it's simple, and slow.

I love to ride my ('road') bikes on a little dirt now and then. I remember what it was like as a kid to simply take my bike anywhere I wanted to go, irrespective of the travel surface or terrain. I still enjoy that.

I have ridden an awful lot of bicycles. When you've worked in a bike shop for a while, you have the opportunity to ride a very large number and variety of bikes. I base my personal cycling decisions on what experience has taught me I am more comfortable with. I'm not narrow-minded, just settled.

I like bikes that are a bit quirky. Not in terms of being mechanically sound - I prefer that my bikes are as sound and trouble-free as I can make them. But I sometimes make choices that few others will, for my own reasons. Quirky can be fun, as long as the compromises you make are welcome ones.