Is there a more hackneyed conversation starter in the world than, “If you could bring only one _______________ to a desert island, what would it be?”
The answer to that question is, of course, “no.”
But I’m going to ask it anyway.
If you could bring only one bike to a desert island, what would it be?
First, the Island
If I’m going to a desert island, I get to stipulate the island’s terrain. So I pick an island that is mountainous. It is forested on the south side, while it is truly desert-like on the north side, with lots of sandstone.
Deer and goats live on this island, and they have been busy for centuries walking the same routes. Insta-trails! Also, for some reason, the goats like to frequently walk the perimeter of the island, which is much less technical and rolls pleasantly.
The daily high temperature is 68. The daily low is 62.
It rains for half an hour each day, enough to keep the trails from getting dusty.
Now, the Bike
There’s no bike shop on the desert island — for some reason, while it is the absolutely most perfect place in the world to bike, nobody rides there — so I want a bike that is super-reliable. Let’s make it a singlespeed. In fact, let’s make it a fixed gear. And I want to be able to do both technical mountain biking, and spinning.
So let’s make it a cross-style bike, with extra clearance for big fat mountain bike tires (while there are no bike shops on the island, I do get to bring as many kinds of tires as I like, and the island has the magical property of bikes never getting flats or wearing out their tires. Or — what the heck — of needing chain lube) when I want them.
The material? Titanium. Doesn’t corrode. Bombproof when well-made.
Oh, and it’s set up for panniers, so I can go collect coconuts and go on goat-hunting expeditions and stuff.
Basically, this is the bike Matt Chester’s going to build for me someday. Now all I need is to find the island.
On this bike, on this island, my riding style would have to change. I’d gain all kinds of new skills as I learned to ride technical terrain on a fixed-gear bike. I’d become stronger as I climbed on a singlespeed. I’d generate massive endurance as I rode my perimeter course (which is exactly 100 miles long).
The Banjo Brothers Bike Bag Giveaway: Your Turn
What’s your island? What’s your bike? You saw these questions coming a mile off, didn’t you?
Today’s weight: Today I weigh 170.8 pounds, meaning I need to lose 1.6 pounds in the next 48 hours, or give up the jackpot.