OK, it’s not actually a new bike anymore. It was new when I bought it back in March, but after five months of fairly intense riding, it’s not new anymore. But the excitement hasn’t worn off at all, even if the tires are showing some wear. I haven’t ridden my Gary Fisher since spring, if that tells you anything.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. For years I had wanted to buy another bike. Not that I didn’t like my Fisher; it was my primary means of getting around town for most of the year since 2008. I rode thousands of miles on it, my first grown-up bike. But apparently wanting ever more bikes is a known condition among cyclists. We should probably name it as a syndrome or something.
The problem was that I couldn’t decide what kind of bike I wanted to get. It didn’t make sense to buy another MTB, even though I never used my Fisher for off-roading. For a while I considered buying a Dutch-style commuter bike, like one of these beauties from the Public Bike Company, but I already had a functional commuter bike, and the geometry of a Dutch bike wasn’t really that different from my Fisher. I knew I didn’t really want a road bike – although I totally do now. And obviously, cruisers and comfort bikes were right out.
So for a long time I did nothing, waiting for the perfect bike to manifest itself. And it finally did. Daniel at Midtown Bike Company posted some images of some absolutely lovely bikes from the State Bicycle Company, based in Tempe, AZ, on Facebook, and I knew that I had found my first second bike. State makes a variety of bikes, but I settled on the Falcore, a single-speed bike with a flip-flop hub, bullhorn handlebars, and nothing else. I wanted to keep this baby clean and unadorned with bottle cages and other accoutrements. Here’s a picture:
Turns out that keeping it clean is more of a challenge than I expected when I order the bike. As you can see from image on State’s website, the bike looks light gray in color, which is exactly what I thought I was ordering. But no. It is white. Solid white. White frame, white chain, white crankset, white fork, white stem, white seat, even white tires and white spokes. All of it is white, except for the rims, which are gray. And just to keep that theme going, I bought some lovely front and rear lights with white casings at Victory. Gotta keep those accessories pure, you know.
There is an advantage of having a unique bike like this: if it ever gets stolen [crossing myself] it will be easy to spot on the street or in a pawn shop. And yes, I have noted that essentially I am riding a ghost bike. Apparently I’m not very superstitious.
So, despite the near impossibility of keeping my bike clean, I frickin’ love it. It is soooo much lighter and faster than my Fisher, and I rarely miss having gears. And I really love the bullhorn handle bars. Honestly, one of the reasons I chose this bike is that it reminded me of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s bike in Premium Rush. (Side note: I really enjoyed that movie, and not just for the biking.) I haven’t tried riding it in fixie mode yet, but when I have an afternoon free, you might just see me pedaling around Tiger Lane all hipster like.
One thing that State does with its bikes is discontinue them after a while. That way you are far less likely to see someone else riding your bike around town. I love this. How embarrassing would it be to show up at a group ride and see someone else with your exact bike? It would be like seeing someone else with the same prom dress. You know … from what I’ve heard.