Seeing no-one will employ me in my current state, I'm heading back to Uni to learn all about becoming a Librarian Then I'll be a qualified librarian who no-one will employ (being over 50 and a single father is a huge drawback I'm finding, even though discrimination is illegal).
This will entail a 25km commute (one way), twice a week in the first semester, three times a week in the second. The bike will be left chained to a fence for 4 hours on each of those days - bike cages are planned ... for the year after I finish my studies
Just as I'm sure applies to where you live, here in sleepy old Adelaide, honest folks buy their bikes and bits from the shops, the rest go to the nearest University
I already have four bikes - I am not going to buy a beater.
The trip is largely flattish, it's into the city so it's urban commuting with heavy traffic at the end of it. However, it also features a rather impressive climb on the way home - the climb is a bit over 3km long and is a serious 13-15 minute, granny gear grind.
That climb rules out riding the fixed gear bike, though I could probably walk the hill at about the same speed as I ride up it.
Thanks to the theft issue, I'm not taking my Jamis which is my good, sports bike.
Then theres the recumbent, a nice, new high racer. You'd think that'd rule her out immediately, but she's a TY industries bent - good, steel frame but really bottom end componentry. The wheels and hubs for example are SpeedMax. Never heard of them? Neither had I but they should wear out really quickly allowing me to upgrade to good stuff. I'm still reluctant to take her though, even though she'd eat up the ride and I'd be in utter comfort.
This leaves my Trek520. This is a 2007 model (ie, near new frame and wheels) but she'd been stripped to build the Jamis. My initial thought was to rebuild her cheaply using second hand bits to give me a 'cheap' workhorse. Yup, you guessed it, the cheap rebuild has become an expensive rebuild and she's now got a mix of old mtb bits and new bits and by the time I admit defeat and buy her a Brooks as well, she'll be a half reasonable bike again.
So, which bike do I take to Uni?
No, I'm not buying a beater - the trip is too long and I've got too many bikes as it is.
The Trek is probably now a little too good and unless I can get my hand problems sorted out, the ride won't be the most comfortable.
The bent will be the most comfortable but how theive-worthy are they? Bents are really rare here and you don't see them in shops. The components aren't worth stealing but neither are the bits on the Trek.
The fixed gear bike is my old favourite and has been with me since I bought her new in the eighties but offers the least for someone to pinch. There's also that hill to worry about, unless I drive half way which sort of defeats the purpose of commuting by bike.
Yes, I'm worrying too much, but that's what makes cycling fun
What would you do?