Kristy and I are settled into our new home. I’m enjoying the “almost car-free” lifestyle, except when I have to drive back to Charlestown to get things from the old house, or go somewhere with Kristy, or drive to another city for work (Saint Louis next week).
My bike mileage has taken a nosedive. I’ve been busy enough on the weekends that I haven’t had any long rides. My new commute can be less than seven miles round-trip. I can go a longer route, but I seldom do.
I’ve wanted a simpler life for a while. What does that mean? For me, I want to eliminate clutter. Get rid of items I don’t use. That’s easier said than done. I have a truck and a house that I owe money on, and really don’t need either, although Kristy would hurt me if I got rid of the truck. 🙂
I have eliminated a lot of old bike parts. I sold two wheelsets and my unicycle on craigslist. Other stuff went into the trash.
I’ve eliminated unused computer equipment. There are still five laptops for two individuals (although one is work-owned). Each of them has a purpose.
Both Kristy and I own things that are either sentimental, valuable, or were valuable, but are no longer used. These are the hardest to get rid of. I have old but expensive software packages. I haven’t been able to let go of them yet. Kristy has a lot of clothing that she paid good money for, and rarely (if ever) wore. Most of it fits, she just didn’t like it as much as she thought she would.
I still have things that I want to buy. I’m in the process of having bike #4 built. Although each bike is completely different and serves a different purpose, it does seem a bit much. If I insist on having a bike for each type of riding, I can easily see myself with 6+ bikes. I still like gadgets. I want an MP3 player. I want an ebook reader. I really don’t need these things though.
These are the bikes I have, or could have:
- Commuting/Touring/Hauling: My Surly LHT
- Comfort/”be different”: My Bacchetta Agio recumbent
- Folding/Travel: my Dahon Speed D7
- Single Speed/Lugged Steel: My project bike at Vic’s Classic Bikes (unfinished)
- Off-Road: Don’t have one, no plans to buy right now
- Fast Road Bike: Don’t have one, had intended to buy a fast recumbent, those plans are on hold
- Cargo: Don’t have one, have considered a long-tail cargo bike, or a trailer
That’s too many bikes. I need to stop at four, and reconsider what I need.
It’s hard to convince my wife to live simpler when I have my bike and gadget lust. I need to quit visiting bike websites and ogling things to buy. I need to think over all purchases for a few days before buying. Don’t get me wrong, this is not really about money, it’s about the mental and time cost of each item owned.