Wow, the things one thinks about on the commute.
So I'm riding in this morning and the following analogies came to me.
The Road Race Bike: This is the Mistress of bikes. Hot, fast, looks (and is) expensive, plasticky and polished in all it's carbon fiber and titanium glory. She gets the looks everywhere you go. Other guys (and some girls) are jealous. Even if you're not riding her, you love to just sit and look at her and fantasize about her. You can ride her hard and fast and she loves it, begging for more. She only gets ridden occasionally when you can sneak in the time, but when you do it's on... oh it's SO on... for hours without stopping or just for nourishment. But when you're done, you're done. You hang her up until next time and go about your everyday life.
The Mountain Bike: This is the Stripper of bikes. And they come in all shapes and sizes. Cheap or expensive. Hard tails, soft tails, 26's, 29'ers, even the occasional 650b if that's your poison. The mountain bike wasn't meant to be ridden in public (although some of you freaks like to anyway). She gets taken out into the woods, the back country, where no one will find you and see what despicable things you two are up to. When I said you ride the Race Bike hard, you don't go overboard. You still respect her. But not the Mountain Bike. She takes a licking and keeps on ticking, and this just makes you want to push her harder. Spanking that bike all over the trails and she's loving every minute of it, screaming for more... even if she is faking it, you don't care. She's a dirty little strumpet of a bike. The dirtier she gets, the more fun she is to ride. No babying this one. And when you're done... you need a long shower to get rid of all the filth... the dirty dirty filth. Bring lots of rubber, you're going to need it.
The Commuter Bike: This is the Wife of bikes. This is the bike you bring home to Mom. If you could have only one bike, this would be it. She versatile. She can take you to work, take the kids to school, go to the grocery store and all your other errands. She's not limited to one kind of road, although you won't find her in the extremes, either. She's not that kind of bike. The Commuter comes in lots of different variations. Some are lanky and fast, some are pudgy and slow, some are athletic, some are flexible and compact. Some are gorgeous on the outside, but all are gorgeous on the inside. The Commuter is reliable and dependable, but not indestructible. The Commuter needs love, respect and the occasional pampering, but she is also strong... sometimes surprisingly so. What you give will be returned, two fold. Treat her right and she will be with you for the long haul. Forever.