Things took a turn last Friday when we got rear-ended with the bikes on the back of the car. My Vaya is toast as is my wife's bike but insurance should cover it. So I've been riding my beater on which I mounted my salvaged Brooks saddle. Stopped off at a downtown library today and, since the bike is crap, didn't put my normal effort into locking it with two u-locks and a cable for the seat. As I should have anticipated, the seat was gone when I got back. Stupid! I'll keep an eye on Craigslist though there seem to be a lot of Brooks listings.
The experience has otherwise been interesting... I had generally been moving up in bikes since I started out with the beater about five years ago (though it seemed pretty good at the time) and hadn't really looked back. Now that I've been forced to look back I feel pretty confident in saying to anyone asking if they should invest in a quality bike that the answer is yes. It really does make a difference and I can hardly wait to get things back to normal.