When we ordered the CETMA cargo bike a few months ago, Irene and I agreed I would take a hiatus from buying new bikes for four to seven years unless it was a bike for Luci.
We have a lot of bikes and while they all serve a specific purpose, I couldn’t think of another bike I “needed” or wanted so it was agreement I was happy to make.
That was until the Schwinn Twins came back into my life.
I saw these two Schwinn Suburbans a year and half ago at the winter GABA Bike Swap. I liked them a lot and called Irene to see if she wanted to come take a look. In the time it took to call Irene and head back over, the bikes had already been purchased.
I was bummed, but not heartbroken until I learned about their history.
The story as far as I can tell goes like this:
The bikes, manufactured by Schwinn Chicago, were built 41 years ago to the month, according to the serial numbers. They were purchased by a couple as a matching pair from Tucson Schwinn Cyclery located on East Broadway. The sticker for the shop is still on the seat tube.
The couple sold them at a garage sale where a young man and his girlfriend purchased the bikes with the understanding they would be kept together. Eventually, the couple broke up and the girl took the bikes.
At the bike swap a year and a half ago, the pair was up for sale again. The young man who originally bought the bikes at the garage sale bought the bikes again.
I fell in love with the story and was pretty disappointed I missed out on them. I gave my card to the new owners and told them if they ever wanted to sell they should let me know.
A couple weeks ago I received an email saying they were moving out of town and weren’t planning on taking the bikes with them because since they were bought in Tucson and had been a pair, that they should stay in Tucson.
Now I was regretting our agreement.
Irene liked the story, but pointed out we already had a lot of bikes and we didn’t need two more.
After a little wrangling, we decided we could buy the bikes and loan them to my parents. That sounded like a good deal because when the four to seven years was up I could bring them back into our stable.
We picked the bikes up last week and got them home. Irene decided to take hers for a spin and came back with a big grin on her face. When I asked if she wanted to keep them instead, she rolled her eyes and said it was ridiculous, but yes she wanted to keep them.
The bikes, which are completely original, save for the tires and brake pads, needed a tune up but they are amazingly comfortable.
I’m not sure if I love the bikes or the story more, but I’m glad they made their way into my garage and am grateful that while Irene isn’t as neurotic about bicycles as I am that she is just crazy enough to let me keep the Schwinn Twins.
I’ve heard two equations about the number of bikes you should own. The first is N+1= # of bikes you should own. In that equation N is equal to the number of bikes you currently own.
The other is N-1=# of bike you should own. In this equation, N is equal to the number of bikes your spouse or significant other would decide to throw you out of the house with.
What do you think? When is enough, enough? How many bikes is too many?