The dangers of living with a VMH.

The Entanglements of Rule #12

The Entanglements of Rule #12

by / / 140 posts

It is so deeply entangled at this point, I can no longer tell the threads from one another. The strands once ran cleanly from one bicycle to the next, linking a discrete sequence of events, considerations, wants, and desires. But then, 15 years ago, a strong force entered my life and I was forced to find alternate means of justifying the acquisition of new machines and kit.

Finding a partner to spend your life with is an incredible experience; to discover the half of you that was missing and feel it join to its mate to become whole is something that defies description. But it doesn’t make buying another bike any easier. If your partner isn’t a Cyclist, there will be endless debating over ancillary details like explaining why already having a bike doesn’t preclude needing the machine in question, or why the existing stable can’t fulfill the purposes of the proposed new steed. Then – should the case have been made and the principle of the purchase agreed to – there will come the maddening discussions of budget and the prioritization of food or clothing over the bike. Suffice to say, being in a relationship with your life’s partner is worth it, but only just.

Partnering with a Cyclist is messier still. While food and clothing are quickly rank ordered at the bottom of the priority stack, there is the introduction of quantities of bicycles on the already-stretched budget. As the VMH happily supports and participates enthusiastically in the selection of wheels and kit, the knowledge will be creeping in that this acquisition only emboldens her for her own Rule #12 endeavors; n + 1 slips to n + 2.

It happened smoothly, without me noticing. Happy to have justified and gained budget approval for my original Bianchi EV2, I scoured the farthest reaches of the primordial Interwebs to stretch my budget to the maximum. I emerged from the other side with a full Dura-Ace 9-speed equipped racing machine, at which point I had no alternative but to accept that her steel Bianchi needed more than fresh bar tape in order to stand up against my lovely new steed.

She approved her own budget (I hold a seat on the finance committee but do not have a controlling vote) and emerged from a much shorter process with a Camapa Record 10spd equipped EV4. That’s two EV’s more than mine. Her superior machine meant that I had room to make upgrades while flying unnoticed under the radar; lighter wheels, better pedals, saddles, and stems flowed on and off my prized EV2 for several years until finally she had to admit I was due for a more substantial upgrade.

I have found, through this process, that the secret to a happy partnership is to keep the VMH in a slightly better bike than mine at all times. My upgrades stay one step behind, which gives me room to fiddle with my kit while her machines jump in leaps and bounds. Should I find myself unable to justify my own new upgrades, I approach the Committee with the suggestion that she requires an upgrade – a proposal which is approved without exception or opposition. She always lays claim to the best and lightest machines and I get to build and kit out twice as many nice bikes.

I know I’m not the only one taking this approach; Gianni’s VMH got a full Carbone climbing rig and months later he was throwing a leg over his own new steed. My mom recently acquired a 6.5 kilo Redline gravel machine which I’m sure will precede my dad’s next bike. Keeper Jim kitted his wife Jess out with a beautiful carbone rig only to Twitter his way into his own a short time later. All the more reason to marry a Cyclist.

Oh, the web we weave. And if any of you even mentions the word “tandem”, I’m banning you for a week.

// Accessories and Gear // Etiquette // Il Progetto // The Bikes

  1. @frank

    @Cyclops

    Two things:

    First, why do I not see a Neederaap nestled in that mess?

    Because its currently in a delicate and extra-special-top-secret state of rebuild. VMH actually came out with it and I barely hid my panic as I yelled in an unnervingly high-pitched voice, “She’s not ready! She’s not ready!”

    Probably means it was sporting a Gianni-special EPMS and clip-on aero bars.

  2. @mcsqueak

    @frank

    @Cyclops

    Two things:

    First, why do I not see a Neederaap nestled in that mess?

    Because its currently in a delicate and extra-special-top-secret state of rebuild. VMH actually came out with it and I barely hid my panic as I yelled in an unnervingly high-pitched voice, “She’s not ready! She’s not ready!”

    Probably means it was sporting a Gianni-special EPMS and clip-on aero bars.

    Perhaps it’s been converted to a tandem.

  3. @Beers

    Recently heard the anecdote from a seasoned cyclist, most of the strongest riders they know are either separated or divorced now, but they sure ride fast!

    This is different for those of you with partners that ride of course. For the rest of us it’s all a bit of a compromise, but I’m pretty sure hiding shit from the one you trust most isn’t the best path?? I have a feeling it’s when we’ve been naughty and know we’ve overspent our bounds… Super Record on a Veloce budget

    Fuck that, this is what we do, this is what it takes. My missus and I rationalise that a marriage is not a competition with a score, she doesn’t have to buy handbags and shoes if I get something for the bike or vice versa, it’s not a tit-for-tat situation.

    We can’t understand why when you are shacked up with someone, you would want to prevent them from doing or make them feel bad about what they want to do?

    I’m thinking the underlying issue is finances, some studies showing it to be the majority cause of relationship arguments. The other is solo time, especially with kids being cared for by the significant other.

    I earn my turns by making sure I pull my weight. Having two little blighters makes life hectic in order to get 100k+ in on a weekend, including dreadfully early starts. I was long suffering on an alloy bike until, because of the effort I’d been putting in, she said I could use our savings to get a Carbone… This was major for a family running a budget spreadsheet more complex than government treasury documents, and a major turning point for me lately…

    No life is perfect, but I wouldn’t swap any of it, especially my missus, for the world..

    A-Merckx. Without the love (or chance at love) of a good woman men would get nothing of consequence done in this world. That said, we’d probably get to ride our bikes a lot more.

  4. With the alternating of CogFather and VMH bikes it looks like some kind of code (dash,dash,dot,dash,dash,dot,dot,dot)

  5. I keep on trying to upgrade or add to the VMHs stable but she’s perfectly happy with the old touring road bike I got her for a mere $130. It’s a nice bike, but a bit too big and I’d love to get her away from DTS. But, she likes it so I’ll let it be. I even suggested she ride a mtn. bike we have sitting around so we could run the dog off road. She scoffed at even riding anything but her own bike.

    Single cyclists. I was just pondering this because one of the cycling listserves I’m on offered a century on Monday. While I love riding my bike I thought, jaysus, you have a day off to spend with your VMH and eat some dogs and slaw…or go ride for the entire day. Who the fuck are these people doing that? Single or divorced I suppose. And I can only imagine how things will change with the n+1 humanoid arrives.

  6. I’m a bad pedalwan. I only have N+1 where N=1. Sadly, I don’t have good budgetary skills or a VMH to share the bills with, so I can’t indulge in incrementing N.

    Soon, though…

  7. @Beers

    Recently heard the anecdote from a seasoned cyclist, most of the strongest riders they know are either separated or divorced now, but they sure ride fast!

    This is different for those of you with partners that ride of course. For the rest of us it’s all a bit of a compromise, but I’m pretty sure hiding shit from the one you trust most isn’t the best path?? I have a feeling it’s when we’ve been naughty and know we’ve overspent our bounds… Super Record on a Veloce budget

    Fuck that, this is what we do, this is what it takes. My missus and I rationalise that a marriage is not a competition with a score, she doesn’t have to buy handbags and shoes if I get something for the bike or vice versa, it’s not a tit-for-tat situation.

    We can’t understand why when you are shacked up with someone, you would want to prevent them from doing or make them feel bad about what they want to do?

    I’m thinking the underlying issue is finances, some studies showing it to be the majority cause of relationship arguments. The other is solo time, especially with kids being cared for by the significant other.

    I earn my turns by making sure I pull my weight. Having two little blighters makes life hectic in order to get 100k+ in on a weekend, including dreadfully early starts. I was long suffering on an alloy bike until, because of the effort I’d been putting in, she said I could use our savings to get a Carbone… This was major for a family running a budget spreadsheet more complex than government treasury documents, and a major turning point for me lately…

    No life is perfect, but I wouldn’t swap any of it, especially my missus, for the world..

    Beautiful stuff right there mate.

    @Barracuda

    @brett

    It seems Rule #5 doesn’t apply to matrimony. What a bunch of pussies, hiding purchases from your wives. Some way to base a relationship, on deception, fear and lies. If you can’t enjoy your passion without having to veto/hide it from your significant other, then you’ve chosen the wrong partner or you need to grow a pair.

    Negative on both counts, he who dies with the most toys wins !!

    Needless to say, Im not winning at the moment

    When I die, I’m going to have the best looking Cycling shoes in the grave yard.

  8. @freddy

    You might be on to something–One Piece at a Time– but it took the guy in the Johnny Cash song over 20 years to build his ”psychobilly Cadillac” (transmission from a 1953 and engine from a 1973).

    Excellent reference, top marks. As a point of reference, though, the process of building a bike and collecting the bits over a long period of time is possibly the most exciting processes a Velominatus can go through. Velominatus Bugetatus just makes it all the more exciting to figure out how to stretch the dollars. That would have been a fun 20 years, as far as I’m concerned.

    A friend whose identity shall be undisclosed for his own protection is going through this right now and I’m wildly jealous.

  9. @Xyverz

    I’m a bad Pedalwan. I only have N+1 where N=1. Sadly, I don’t have good budgetary skills or a VMH to share the bills with, so I can’t indulge in incrementing N.

    Soon, though…

    n == 1 is better than n == 0, so you’re still a good Pedalwan so long as you keep aspiring to increase the stable…

  10. You guys are going to die at this.  My VMH has 26 road bikes.  Bikes in the living room.  Bikes in the kitchen.  Bikes in the bedroom.  I’m moving to heaven!

  11. So, with all this chat about Bianchi, WTF are you doing on those bloody Cervelos ?

    We have a rule in our household. If its related to exercise and fitness, it gets automatic budget approval. Hiding crap is weak and doomed.

    I have n=6 , wifelet has n=5.

  12. @Ken Ho

    So, with all this chat about Bianchi, WTF are you doing on those bloody Cervelos ?

    They are both great bikes, even if the Cervelos are basically paint-wrapped eggshells.

    We have a rule in our household. If its related to exercise and fitness, it gets automatic budget approval. Hiding crap is weak and doomed.

    Agreed completely. Hiding your purchases is completely not endorsed by The Keepers. Agree to a budget and stick to it. Hiding is the exact same as lying; not something to build a relationship on.

    @Sauterelle

    My dad, my original sensei, has something in the neighborhood of 35 at the last check. Its amazing how this can work. 

    The craziest thing is he really does ride all of them.

  13. @Ron

    I keep on trying to upgrade or add to the VMHs stable but she’s perfectly happy with the old touring road bike I got her for a mere $130. It’s a nice bike, but a bit too big and I’d love to get her away from DTS. But, she likes it so I’ll let it be. I even suggested she ride a mtn. bike we have sitting around so we could run the dog off road. She scoffed at even riding anything but her own bike.

    Single cyclists. I was just pondering this because one of the cycling listserves I’m on offered a century on Monday. While I love riding my bike I thought, jaysus, you have a day off to spend with your VMH and eat some dogs and slaw…or go ride for the entire day. Who the fuck are these people doing that? Single or divorced I suppose. And I can only imagine how things will change with the n+1 humanoid arrives.

    n+1 humanoid’s = your fkd in an ever decreasing Km count in direct proportion to the increase of “n” in said equation !

    Having said that, said Km count has been known to increase ever so slightly as the age/ages of “n” in the equation goes up.

    Ive got two, good luck with that

  14. Can’t help it Frank, I’m a Bianchi tragic.

    Self confessed fan-bois of Oakley, Bianchi, Ducati, Metallica and Campagnolo.   Once I become bonded to a brand, I’m hard to budge.   Still drooling over the Oltre.

  15. @Ken Ho

    Can’t help it Frank, I’m a Bianchi tragic.

    Self confessed fan-bois of Oakley, Bianchi, Ducati, Metallica and Campagnolo. Once I become bonded to a brand, I’m hard to budge. Still drooling over the Oltre.

    Brand loyalty is a good thing to keep. Good experience = good brand. Bad experience = bad brand.

    Or have a battle of the brands and to the victor go the spoils.

  16. Money & religion tend to fuck it all up, right? Thankfully I’m a Follower, and not a Believer.

  17. Yes, lying is no basis for a relationship…

    Remember that next time you click delete browsing history and clear cache!

  18. @Velocitractor

    Yes, lying is no basis for a relationship…

    Remember that next time you click delete browsing history and clear cache!

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. I’ll plead that there’s a slight difference between hiding a mortgage payment or two (or three) spent on playthings and clicking through a japanese-themed midget donkey porn gallery… or have I said too much? I guess I should be on my bike instead of the dark corners of theTubes.

  19. @Ken Ho I had to sell my Bianchi to comply with S-1 when I upgraded to Pinarello but I always thought  this Pantani era one was the best paint job they every did.  Before everyone jumps on me for the pic,it was taken before I was converted to Velominati enlightenment.  Wish I could have kept it.

  20. hi Frank: enjoyed the post; i’ve been reading for a while, but final decided to join the community after shaking off my ignorant rule-breaking ways.

    i am current trying to negotiate the situation where:  n +1 > s – 1; however, i think that your post—and perhaps a new bike/upgrades for my darling wife—will help!

    in the meantime, our current deal is that for every dollar i spend on the bike, i have to put in 1.60934 km on the road!

  21. @Puffy Excellent approach.  Worked for me.  My manager is a yoga teacher…apparently Zen costs nothing, or nothing is Zen.

    I will never fucking figure it out.

  22. @Teocalli  That is the very same style frame I was looking at a while back, sadly too big, but I still pine for it!

    @El How do you figure on that number? I’m interested in rationalisations like that!  Have done similar, though my km/$ is quite a bit higher, I owe about 7000km on my commuter, a couple more years..

  23. I know what ‘Campy’ is.

    I guess I can figure out what ‘Campa’ is, though I think that sucks.

    God only knows what ‘Camapa’ is.

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