I've just been extravagant. Whyever not? For a while, I've been thinking about getting a bike I can tour on - I want to be able to increase my mileage, and do longer trips over several days (or weeks).
Also, I want to be able to get on a train with minimal hassles.
I want a bike which'll be good in the commute (which often has stuff to haul, like changes of clothes and work). I want a bike which'll be good for a long haul.
As a result, I've ordered a New World Tourist from Bike Friday in the US. This is primarily a 'touring' bike (and so is set up for distance rather than speed). That's fine by me. It will have a rack for luggage - though fenders are on back order, and so might not come with the bike when I get it.
It will be an odd looking thing, with small wheels, but should ride perfectly (fingers crossed).
Mine is going to be stealthy black (it should be 'ninja black') and will be specially built for me, so will have my name on a custom nameplate. It'll have SRAM dual drive, which is a clever idea which combines a derailleur with a hub gear (instead of having a front derailleur).
The bike will fold down for transport by train, and will pack into a regular suitcase as with a little more time. This allows for transportation over longer distances or by air (without having to go through special bike handling protocols)
It won't fold down as neatly as something like a Brompton, but that's not the primary purpose - the primary purpose is to be a bike.
That doesn't mean that I wouldn't want to get a recumbent, a more folding folder for quick hops (e.g. London trips)...
It seems silly to think about the next bike already - but I am. I think I'd want to get a second hand, but fundamentally sound, frame and renovate it, learn my way through. Maybe 2009....?
Anyhow, so there you are. I've just been extravagant - but what the hell? If I can increase the number of days I cycle in to work, I cut my petrol bill - these things should even out. With this bike I can take it on holiday, and have a bit of an explore. The only real downside is that my other half is still not bike-confident, and if she were, she wouldn't have a bike with her on holiday - but then, she likes running. So the ideal solution is that I see things on wheels, whilst she is pounding the streets.
It's being built over the next month, and it should dispatch on the 20th June, in time for the summer.
Green Gear (under the name Bike Friday) also make the 'Pocket Rocket' (a racer, which, according to google unfortunately shares it's name with an intimate toy for ladies), the 'Pocket Llama' (a mountain bike), the 'Tikit' (a bike designed primarily for the commute) and others.
The Tikit folds fast.
New bike... I'm all excited.
Next thing is to get Monica cycling properly (she can do it, she needs to practice off-road a bit)... then perhaps a tandem. Hmm....
Update: Import taxes - don't forget these. USA to UK is significant.