While we were there, a fellow named Andy pulled up riding a very sweet Signal city bike—everything just so: matching painted fenders, dyno hub, internal gears, constructeur-style rack, Brooks saddle. He mentioned something about wanting to be able to take longer rides and haul stuff, and not worrying about bike weight.
Not to diminish the appeal or utility of his bike in any way, but I must say that it made me realize how pared-down my own bike is, and how much I personally like it that way.
An Italian racing frame nearly fifty years old, set up with a fixed gear, polycarbonate fenders (which I reviewed here a few years back), a pricey but minimalist Tubus Fly rack, a couple of lights, a bag, and a used saddle.
Andy was a bit surprised to hear that my old Bottecchia, locked to a signpost on the sidewalk, has nearly forty thousand miles on it under my stewardship. And I do reasonably long rides on it and carry stuff.
I like it that way. I rarely need to do maintenance on it—tires and chain, batteries, a brake cable every half decade. (I do hope to put dyno hub lighting on it this year.)
Mostly I just ride it. Everywhere.
It's an unassuming bike, but it goes and goes and goes.
I love looking at custom bikes. But I've never owned a bike I enjoyed riding more than that brown Bottecchia in the photo.