Etymologically speaking*, we in a select group here; static friction became stiction, a spork is the bastard utensil child of a Spoon and Fork, and if you see a Geep, it’s half sheep/half goat and entirely confused. People with little better to do than show off can be pant-wearingly boring on the subject of portmanteau – my strong advice is if you ever encounter such a beard, make tracks for the tree line.
Cyclonomics is my stab at a meeting point between those who have a non negotiating standpoint of “You Could Buy A Car For That” and the rationally sane who see speculation in all things bicycle as a sound investment. Take Woger for example, a single weekly commute time banded by the lunacy of GMT sees me on the smug side of fiscal responsibility.
And that’s before we factor in one less car/services to the bacon sandwich industry/public transport time banked for chilling out, and a little winter fitness. This is Cyclonomics at work; hard cash saved and soft power spent on being something other than one of a thousand wheeled cages.
This happy thought accompanied me on a freezing journey to the station where the mercury never troubled the zero point. A thought that was somewhat diluted as the cost of my snugness accumulated in a minds eye. First up, the playful dawn half light – promising horizon busting azure later – was pierced by a £150 bar mounted illumination justified for winter riding. Moving on to cold weather gear, we find thermal boots and socks, fluffy bib tights, a super warm and clever technical top under an even more expensive softshell.
Even my now somewhat troubled head is encased in a helmet bought only for road riding. What this adds up to is Cyclonomics might not be quite the slam dunk I first thought. Apply the “cold light of day” weighting and really how many two legged beings really need six bikes? Or a shedfull of kit/clothes/spares that are mostly discards begot from magpie kleptomania.
But spending on bikes is not bounded by disposable income. It is an agony of want versus guilt. Nice things make you ride, but they don’t make a ride. There’s almost no situation where a £50 handlebar is 50% superior to another that looks the same but costs half. Most of us started with two thirds of bugger all, and somehow we ended up here. Twisted justification is a neat way of lying, but I’m not sure anyone is actually being fooled.
And yet somewhere we have started to confuse cost with value. Strip it down and Cyclonomics is nothing more than an excuses buffer. Against apathy making the easy choices; against smacking the snooze button, against fading motivation when rain slashes spitefully at the window. A mental buttress to hang happy thoughts from. Knowing absolutely it might be shit now, but in five minutes it will be epic. Shivering off a late night train and feeling pity, not envy, for those heading into heated cars.
Riding bikes is a privilege. Any bike, any time, with friendships cemented by shared memories or with nothing but the howling wind and your own laughter at the stupidity of it all. A two fingered salute at not being quite like you. An intenseness of experience I cannot get from anything else.
You cannot put a price on that.
* Two words, one tautology. That’s a skill that cannot be learned.