I've noticed that many people on this forum seem to have a number of bikes, depending on their interests and/or weather conditions. Or maybe it's just a mass personality disorder. Some people have a winter beater bike, and a nicer bike for good weather; others have a garage full of bikes simply because they like things with two wheels.
So how many bikes are actually needed to live a car-free or car-lite life?
Answers will vary, I imagine, but I only have a single bike. I tried to keep a beater around for bad weather, but I quickly discovered that I'd much rather just ride the nice bike all the time and replace components as needed. I just can't bring myself to ride a crappy bike if you've got a nice one right there in front of you. I also only ride for a couple of purposes: riding around town, and touring. It's not like I'm trying to commute and do roadie-type club rides on the weekends as well, so a good touring bike pretty much satisfies all my requirements.