The Entanglements of Rule #12

The dangers of living with a VMH.
The dangers of living with a VMH.

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.

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140 Replies to “The Entanglements of Rule #12”

  1. I could deal with the ban, but at the dirty40 this past weekend, there was a couple on a titanium tandem. It was pretty sweet.

  2. (I hold a seat on the finance committee but do not have a controlling vote) – I think we are in the same position – i currently have 3 1/2 bikes – 2 fully built up – 1 all trying to get built up from old parts that wil become a town bike and my new custom steel frame (hanging at the ceiling to remind her that i need to complete it) – which still lacks a new 11 speed groupset ( I still have a pair of 50mm carbons which is in rotation with the other bikes.

  3. All of which makes me slightly grateful that my wife is simply the finance committee chair and not a VMH. I’m not sure my head could deal with the complications.

    Rule #12 issues could certainly come up for my two young boys as they grow.

  4. Oh how I envy you all.. My wife the runner. I purchased her a  evo six dura ace nice bike. It started out simple enough. As the year went on we rode together along the coast. Times were good. Being an athlete her entire life, made her look like a natural on the bike.

    As we moved to the foot hills  She began to ask whats so hard about this. As she set right on my wheel. So now to the Mountains I thought! Now I will show her. Wrong she rode like she was a pro cyclist.

    Now her first century. She completed it with a bit of complaining. it was complete with  30 mph head winds. We were having fun right?

    Now six months later. No you go ride with the club, I will just go for a run.

    Hey wife I found this great deal on a new bike, what do you think…trade mine in she says. I think, is this a trick? this can’t be, can it?

    But I am smarter than this right..so off I go and come home with my new bike.. Did you trade mine in why no. Then we would not be able to ride together.

    So a month goes by…Hey Rob she said. I sold my bike to one of the women in your cycling club. What! and what did you do with the money? How much did you get for it? I guess I should have told her how much a good bike can cost..

    So now at least once a week I see her old bike with another women on it….and that woman looks at me and knows she got a great deal on that bike.

    And whats the wife doing now days.. Running. she says bikes are to expensive for her. But you go ahead and get what you need..as long as it is no more expensive than a pair of running shoes……I give up.

  5. I would like another bike.  I purchased my first bike last year – a very nice and relatively modestly equipped road bike – carbon frame and shimano 105 bits and bobs.  Since then I’ve spent on a proper set of wheels, better tires and various accessories – to the point where there is little in the way of a logical argument for investing more into it.

    The bike is really good, serves me beautifully, adheres to the principle of silence and in no way stands between myself and better results.  So, while I’ve always thought that I’d upgrade this bike within two years I’m now starting to think differently.  One thing that changed my thinking was having rented a bike that lives a rung up the ladder from mine – better frame and Ultegra components – meh, the difference was negligible.  I realized that my next road bike was going to be an elite level bike – DuraAce or Campy equipped exotica deserving of a multi year infatuation and courting ritual to really whip myself up into a lustful frenzy (sorry, got a little carried away there…).

    Instead, I’m thinking about a mountain bike as a short term fix.  Something that I can go out and ride with my kids.  Something that I can take on trails with the new dog that we’re going to be getting in 8 weeks – the Hungarian Vizsla that everyone says needs to run and run and run!  Something that I can ride in the long winter months here in Toronto.

    I know nothing about mountain bikes but I’m thinking 29er and hardtail is the starting point?

  6. That photo scared me. I feared it was a Cogal shot and there was a crazy subset of Cogal riders out there showing a pant-load of seatpost. Whew, no, just the Strack stable. I feel better.

  7. @Gianni

    That photo scared me. I feared it was a Cogal shot and there was a crazy subset of Cogal riders out there showing a pant-load of seatpost. Whew, no, just the Strack stable. I feel better.

    I didn’t put it together till just now…when I saw the pic I thought…”well, I guess Frank’s bike isn’t that much of an oddity afterall – look at all those fellows riding bikes that look equally as…unique”.

  8. @Weldertron

    I could deal with the ban, but at the dirty40 this past weekend, there was a couple on a titanium tandem. It was pretty sweet.

    was it a Seven?  Stoker in blonde pigtails?  That would be John and Pamela, both hard as nails and quite possibly the nicest people you will ever run across.  He is actually on the inside back cover of Rouleur issue 41 this month.  What was your impression of the Dirty40?  I was at work so wasnt able to attend..

    @Gianni I thought the same thing…perhaps a candid moment from the V-V Cogal.  I now feel slightly less short knowing they all live in the same garage.  Did Buck get you the West Point details yet?

  9. I would just like to say (and gloat) that my VMH is awesome.  Having lived the N+1 rule by cobbling together some spectacularly awful bikes that are made entirely of found parts.  I have a couple of mountain bikes I  truly love (yes, I am a hairy-legged mountain biker), a couple of commuters for her and the rest… well… bike shaped objects.

    Life’s circumstances saw me in a job I didn’t enjoy.

    Long story short. She bought me a bike shop.

    I’ve posted that on this blog before, but now we’re in and operational.  I’m working longer hours, for less pay.  And I love it.

    Part of the lead-in process of buying a bike shop is fantasising over the demo bikes I can award myself.  Carbon, XTR (or Dura-ace depending on the steed).  Exotic brands (nahh, I need to represent the brands on the floor).

    Now, we’re operational, and I’m concerning myself with not fucking up a well running business.  I’m  still riding the same middle-of the road (but nevertheless awesome) Giants, and the fantasy steeds have not materialised.

    I have discovered that replacing and/or parting with these bikes is nowhere as easy as I thought.  I have formed relationships with them, and lived so many memories. In particular, one crappy Giant Yukon I have had for and ridden nearly every day 8 years.  When I bought the Anthem, road tyres went on to the Yukon.  It became my commuter and I rode it more than ever.  Now I’m going to replace it.

    It’s odd.  This is not the same exotic machinery as is represented on the pages of this brilliant blog, I weight it the other day. 16.7 kilos.  However the emotions are the same I am sure.  These are my bikes and we have grown together.  Now it is time for a change.

    I need to find something worthy, and suited to me. Replacing the off-road racer is easy, but I am having a heck of a time finding a suitable heir to the bike I have ridden every day.

  10. @Gianni

    That photo scared me. I feared it was a Cogal shot and there was a crazy subset of Cogal riders out there showing a pant-load of seatpost. Whew, no, just the Strack stable. I feel better.

    I wondered the same thing. “Did Frank’s 8 brothers stay at his house last weekend?”

  11. @Rob C I feel your pain. The VMH has no love for the bicycle. Bought her a commuter bike that she hasn’t ridden to work in 2 summers. She loves her garden, and, truth be told, I love fresh veggies by the plate-full after I return from a ride. At our house N + 0…but I’m allowed one REALLY nice road bike.

  12. @Days

    Dont be shy – no harm in telling people where your shop is. You may find a customer.

    As for wives and bikes, mine can pick when i introduce a new frame (admittedly trying the “I have had this for years” on a new TT bike was always going to be a stretch) but she has NFI when it comes to new wheels, etc.

    Anyway, I am not afraid to drop $$ on bike gear, because she isnt afraid to load up on new tennis gear at the drop of a hat. “I have to get a new racquet because Coach Troy (or Traysen or Lleyton or whatever the fuck the permatanned mofo is named) told me I need one. He has changed my grip and everything. He made us work so hard today. My legs are so sore.”

    I am not even sure she is talking about tennis half the time.

  13. @Mike_P

    All of which makes me slightly grateful that my wife is simply the finance committee chair and not a VMH. I’m not sure my head could deal with the complications.

    Rule #12 issues could certainly come up for my two young boys as they grow.

    Easy. They get your hand-me-downs!

  14. @roger

    @Weldertron

    I could deal with the ban, but at the dirty40 this past weekend, there was a couple on a titanium tandem. It was pretty sweet.

    was it a Seven? Stoker in blonde pigtails? That would be John and Pamela, both hard as nails and quite possibly the nicest people you will ever run across. He is actually on the inside back cover of Rouleur issue 41 this month. What was your impression of the Dirty40? I was at work so wasnt able to attend..

    @Gianni I thought the same thing…perhaps a candid moment from The V-V Cogal. I now feel slightly less short knowing they all live in the same garage. Did Buck get you the West Point details yet?

    I have no idea what make it was, just fairly sure it had red bar tape. I was to shelled to really take notice.

    I thought the race was amazing. It was the first race I had ever entered, but having 14 team mates helped. I managed to finish a whopping 138th. The last climb was brutal, and left me completely empty. The last 5k probably took me 20 minutes going downhill.

    Overall, it was an amazing time, we only had one case of angry driver the whole ride. I will defineatley do it next year, hopefully not being to fat to climb.

  15. @kixsand

    I would like another bike. I purchased my first bike last year – a very nice and relatively modestly equipped road bike – carbon frame and shimano 105 bits and bobs. Since then I’ve spent on a proper set of wheels, better tires and various accessories – to the point where there is little in the way of a logical argument for investing more into it.

    Sorry, I don’t follow. I was with you until you mentioned “logical argument” at which point you threw out “whim” and “fancy” And you lost me.

  16. @frank

    @kixsand

    I would like another bike. I purchased my first bike last year – a very nice and relatively modestly equipped road bike – carbon frame and shimano 105 bits and bobs. Since then I’ve spent on a proper set of wheels, better tires and various accessories – to the point where there is little in the way of a logical argument for investing more into it.

    Sorry, I don’t follow. I was with you until you mentioned “logical argument” at which point you threw out “whim” and “fancy” And you lost me.

    well said frank, lets have some fun making our bikes look totally rad on what ever budget you can manage.

  17. @roger

    @Weldertron

    I could deal with the ban, but at the dirty40 this past weekend, there was a couple on a titanium tandem. It was pretty sweet.

    was it a Seven? Stoker in blonde pigtails? That would be John and Pamela, both hard as nails and quite possibly the nicest people you will ever run across. He is actually on the inside back cover of Rouleur issue 41 this month. What was your impression of the Dirty40? I was at work so wasnt able to attend..

    You have a job? Pray tell. I thought “work” was from 7:30-7:45. AM.

    @Gianni I thought the same thing…perhaps a candid moment from The V-V Cogal. I now feel slightly less short knowing they all live in the same garage. Did Buck get you the West Point details yet?

    Fair enough, but all the same it shouldn’t make you feel any taller.

  18. @DerHoggz

    Doesn’t the lead photo violate proper leaning protocol?

    Not necessarily; when the quantity of bikes is disproportionate to length of wall, one is forced to lean wheel-to-wall and bar to top tube.

  19. @roger

    @Weldertron

    I could deal with the ban, but at the dirty40 this past weekend, there was a couple on a titanium tandem. It was pretty sweet.

    was it a Seven? Stoker in blonde pigtails? That would be John and Pamela, both hard as nails and quite possibly the nicest people you will ever run across. He is actually on the inside back cover of Rouleur issue 41 this month. What was your impression of the Dirty40? I was at work so wasnt able to attend..

    @Gianni I thought the same thing…perhaps a candid moment from The V-V Cogal. I now feel slightly less short knowing they all live in the same garage. Did Buck get you the West Point details yet?

    Just looked up a Seven tandem and the exact bike came up with a link to John and Pamela’s site. That’s the one.

  20. @frank

    @kixsand

    I would like another bike. I purchased my first bike last year – a very nice and relatively modestly equipped road bike – carbon frame and shimano 105 bits and bobs. Since then I’ve spent on a proper set of wheels, better tires and various accessories – to the point where there is little in the way of a logical argument for investing more into it.

    Sorry, I don’t follow. I was with you until you mentioned “logical argument” at which point you threw out “whim” and “fancy” And you lost me.

    Apologies all around – you’re correct, of course.  Maybe a new saddle, or stem, or handlebars or pedals!

  21. @Marcus

    @Days

    Dont be shy – no harm in telling people where your shop is. You may find a customer.

    Fine point.  SpokesNT in Darwin, NT, Australia.  BH, GT, Kona, Jamis & Yeti

  22. @Marcus

    @Days

    Dont be shy – no harm in telling people where your shop is. You may find a customer.

    As for wives and bikes, mine can pick when i introduce a new frame (admittedly trying the “I have had this for years” on a new TT bike was always going to be a stretch) but she has NFI when it comes to new wheels, etc.

    Anyway, I am not afraid to drop $$ on bike gear, because she isnt afraid to load up on new tennis gear at the drop of a hat. “I have to get a new racquet because Coach Troy (or Traysen or Lleyton or whatever the fuck the permatanned mofo is named) told me I need one. He has changed my grip and everything. He made us work so hard today. My legs are so sore.”

    I am not even sure she is talking about tennis half the time.

    It’s a near perfect sport for the non-cycling wife. How much can a new racket cost? Maybe as much as a front wheel, and a not very cool one either. And she has a tanned hunky tennis boy to work her to exhaustion. Work on her grip, her stroke, her overhead…we are still talking about tennis aren’t we?

  23. @G’rilla

    @Gianni

    That photo scared me. I feared it was a Cogal shot and there was a crazy subset of Cogal riders out there showing a pant-load of seatpost. Whew, no, just the Strack stable. I feel better.

    I wondered the same thing. “Did Frank’s 8 brothers stay at his house last weekend?”

    That’s a scary thought. A phalanx of Franks, each taller, louder and more awesome than the next.

    @roger

    Did Buck get you the West Point details yet?

    I don’t think so, have him resend. Where is your avatar? I need to know which roger is which in this world.

  24. @kixsand

    @frank

    @kixsand

    I would like another bike. I purchased my first bike last year – a very nice and relatively modestly equipped road bike – carbon frame and shimano 105 bits and bobs. Since then I’ve spent on a proper set of wheels, better tires and various accessories – to the point where there is little in the way of a logical argument for investing more into it.

    Sorry, I don’t follow. I was with you until you mentioned “logical argument” at which point you threw out “whim” and “fancy” And you lost me.

    Apologies all around – you’re correct, of course. Maybe a new saddle, or stem, or handlebars or pedals!

    You’re fucked, too, if you think you will outlast your 105. Most durable ever group. The set I have I bought in 7th Grade and its still functional and still serving time on an active bike. Its only shortcoming is its weight; if you’re looking for a performance improvement only out of Ultegra or DA, you won’t find it. They are quite a bit lighter though, so until you care enough about that, don’t sweat it. Getting a MTB may well serve you better until you’re clinical like the rest of us.

  25. @G’rilla

    @Gianni

    A phalanx of Franks

    We need to find a reason to put this in the lexicon.

    I was going to be funny and post a photos of hotdogs on a grill (phalanx of Franks). But I know I’d be opening myself for ridicule the entire winter.

    Last summer I sold my 26″ hard tail. Not because I didn’t like it, I just never got out on it. So we were camping last weekend, and almost everyone up there had one kind of MTB or another. I I expressed my regret of the sale to the Mrs, and she says “well you should just get another one then”. What I should have done was get up from beside the campfire, driven 160K back to town, walked into the LBS and handed over the card. Momentary lapses in sanity are rare.

    But I got to thinking, do I get a MTB or a ‘cross rig that would satisfy more of my off road wants? And there’s a TT rig that’s been eyeballing me all summer.

    If the Mrs was a VMH, we’d be living in a trailer. Our rock climbing racks are the same (lot’s a $$ there), top end ski n snow board gear (she was sponsored). I’m not sure which is the better option.

  26. You lucky sonsofbitches married to cyclists. My wife is a runner. I have no objection to her fitness drug of choice, but the $ parallels aren’t the same. She does 3 road marathons a year, so that equates to 3 pair of shoes per year, bare minimum. Add then trail marathons @ 2 per year, but due to of the nature of the beast, that equate to 4 pairs of shoes-2 for each training session and a pair a piece for each trail event. Not to mention the 5k’s, 10k’s, and Half marathons interspersed throughout the year, club breakfasts, beer parties/cookouts and award banquets. Now her total costs, including the airfare, car rentals, hotel rooms, club dues, road/trail shoe/clothing budget, entry fees, medical bills and all other costs too numerous to mention when gathered together would equate a real sweet race machine, a decent ‘cross bike, an open budget on finishing my single-speed build up, and keep me swaddled in Rapha and  Assos, and shod in Sidi  for half a decade, no shit. But fuck me, if she sees the sticker on a  new wheel set, I’d better be wearing an armored codpiece and sleeping with one eye open for a good while. The $300 I spent on the KG 181 nearly cost me my balls, and to boot, I’ve been repainting the living room and kitchen since 1000 this morning…..

  27. @scaler911 I spent a lot of time in Marin County this weekend, on bike and off.  I saw too many tri bikes out, and I have to say, TT rigs risk easy confusion with tri rigs, even if you don’t put the bidons in the wrong places.  In which case, I suppose, they would no longer be properly called bidons at all, but “hydration systems.”  Which brings me around to my point, which is get a cross bike or MTB.

  28. @Gianni

    @G’rilla

    @Gianni

    That photo scared me. I feared it was a Cogal shot and there was a crazy subset of Cogal riders out there showing a pant-load of seatpost. Whew, no, just the Strack stable. I feel better.

    I wondered the same thing. “Did Frank’s 8 brothers stay at his house last weekend?”

    That’s a scary thought. A phalanx of Franks, each taller, louder and more awesome than the next.

    @roger

    Did Buck get you the West Point details yet?

    I don’t think so, have him resend. Where is your avatar? I need to know which roger is which in this world.

    i sent him an email telling him resend “the old man on the island who loves hideous mansacks” the details again

    is there another roger on here?  i dont think i ever had an avatar…let alone know how to add one…oh gianni, you are starting to worry me

  29. @scaler911

    @G’rilla

    @Gianni

    A phalanx of Franks

    We need to find a reason to put this in the lexicon.

    I was going to be funny and post a photos of hotdogs on a grill (phalanx of Franks). But I know I’d be opening myself for ridicule the entire winter.

    Last summer I sold my 26″³ hard tail. Not because I didn’t like it, I just never got out on it. So we were camping last weekend, and almost everyone up there had one kind of MTB or another. I I expressed my regret of the sale to the Mrs, and she says “well you should just get another one then”. What I should have done was get up from beside the campfire, driven 160K back to town, walked into the LBS and handed over the card. Momentary lapses in sanity are rare.

    But I got to thinking, do I get a MTB or a ‘cross rig that would satisfy more of my off road wants? And there’s a TT rig that’s been eyeballing me all summer.

    If the Mrs was a VMH, we’d be living in a trailer. Our rock climbing racks are the same (lot’s a $$ there), top end ski n snow board gear (she was sponsored). I’m not sure which is the better option.

    A highly intelligent conclusion.

    Zen teacher confuses hell out of student with hard koans and Zen shit. Student says “I don’t know.” Teacher says, “Keep that don’t know mind.”

    Great article and thread.

  30. Thanks for the article!

    Myself is in a pretty comfortable position, even married to a non-cyclist! So far I was always able to get approvals for all new bikes and parts! But there is a nice story to tell:

    Last fall I was thinking about a Cyclocross machine, but my wife was really sure about the need of that machine. My local dealer threw the alternative 29″ into the ring, but no chance with that as well. So I almost gave up the topic “new bike” for this winter. Until our family vacation to Lanzarote. At one day at the beach we saw a group a MTB riders which did look like a team on their trainingscamp. Looking at their bikes my wife was saying which beautiful bikes they have. “By accident” I found out that indeed it was a team training and racing we have seen on the beach … and what’s that? They are selling their team bikes?

    To make a long story short: I ended up in – approved – buying that used team machine. Which was by the way, more expensive then the cyclocross machine I had in mind. maybe I should give that one this winter a try!? ;)

  31. @Weldertron

    @roger

    @Weldertron

    I could deal with the ban, but at the dirty40 this past weekend, there was a couple on a titanium tandem. It was pretty sweet.

    was it a Seven? Stoker in blonde pigtails? That would be John and Pamela, both hard as nails and quite possibly the nicest people you will ever run across. He is actually on the inside back cover of Rouleur issue 41 this month. What was your impression of the Dirty40? I was at work so wasnt able to attend..

    @Gianni I thought the same thing…perhaps a candid moment from The V-V Cogal. I now feel slightly less short knowing they all live in the same garage. Did Buck get you the West Point details yet?

    I have no idea what make it was, just fairly sure it had red bar tape. I was to shelled to really take notice.

    I thought the race was amazing. It was the first race I had ever entered, but having 14 team mates helped. I managed to finish a whopping 138th. The last climb was brutal, and left me completely empty. The last 5k probably took me 20 minutes going downhill.

    Overall, it was an amazing time, we only had one case of angry driver the whole ride. I will defineatley do it next year, hopefully not being to fat to climb.

    red bar tape, yep, that’s them.  did you take any photos of the event?  should post them up in the rides section..everyone i’ve talked to thought it went really well for a 1st year event.  and i read you were going down there with a team, but 14!  very awesome

  32. Today is our 19th wedding anniversary so it’s timely to praise my own VeloMrs and our bike-stuff arrangements.

    Unlike those who have to submit proposals to the Finance Committee, we have established a contra-style slush fund in the interests of national security and harmony.

    I transfer the agreed amount to support the above-the-line Operational budget which is dispersed entirely according to her needs and wants.

    The leftover is subject to a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy, which is helped enormously by me being mainly in a different country. We speak only in general terms e.g.

    Me: “I was getting a power meter to improve my training and there was a good deal on a whole Enve wheelset.”

    Her: “Ooh they’re very black. And you really needed a power meter did you ?”

    Me; “Oh yes. Has Gabriel got cricket training tomorrow… ?”

    Everyone is happy.

    My wife is a cyclist but a casual one – taking the kids to school, riding to the shops etc. So she acknowledges the joy and benefits of cycling and is happy for me to be doing it, but has no aspiration to go on cycling holidays or ride with the club. My riding therefore has enough of a mysterious aura but is not completely beyond comprehension and there is no competition.

    It seems to work.

  33. I dont see a single flat bar in that pic. not one?  the veloforma 29er hardtail pretty rad lookin not to mention riding (apparently, haven’t dared touch one lest they reproduce in my basement

  34. @ChrisO

    Today is our 19th wedding anniversary so it’s timely to praise my own VeloMrs and our bike-stuff arrangements.

    Unlike those who have to submit proposals to the Finance Committee, we have established a contra-style slush fund in the interests of national security and harmony.

    I transfer the agreed amount to support the above-the-line Operational budget which is dispersed entirely according to her needs and wants.

    The leftover is subject to a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy, which is helped enormously by me being mainly in a different country. We speak only in general terms e.g.

    Me: “I was getting a power meter to improve my training and there was a good deal on a whole Enve wheelset.”

    Her: “Ooh they’re very black. And you really needed a power meter did you ?”

    Me; “Oh yes. Has Gabriel got cricket training tomorrow… ?”

    Everyone is happy.

    My wife is a cyclist but a casual one – taking the kids to school, riding to the shops etc. So she acknowledges the joy and benefits of cycling and is happy for me to be doing it, but has no aspiration to go on cycling holidays or ride with the club. My riding therefore has enough of a mysterious aura but is not completely beyond comprehension and there is no competition.

    It seems to work.

    Envious?….Yes I am.

    i am firmly in the camp of buy stuff and immediately take it round a friends house for storage.  Once on “that fucking bike” she will never spot it!

  35. @Deakus

    We’ve even got to the stage where boxes from online retailers herald my monthly trips home, like flowers appearing in spring.

    The first five minutes is something on the lines of kiss kiss, hug children, get offered tea, “How was your flight… there’s a box for you in the cupboard under stairs and Rouleur  in your drawer.”

    On one memorable occasion I had literally just arrived – I was still in the hallway with a bag on one arm and a child in the other – when the doorbell rang behind me. I opened it to find a delivery man with a box from Wiggle, as if he’d just been sitting in the front garden waiting for me to arrive. It was very funny at the time.

  36. @ChrisO

    @Deakus

    We’ve even got to the stage where boxes from online retailers herald my monthly trips home, like flowers appearing in spring.

    The first five minutes is something on the lines of kiss kiss, hug children, get offered tea, “How was your flight… there’s a box for you in the cupboard under stairs and Rouleur in your drawer.”

    On one memorable occasion I had literally just arrived – I was still in the hallway with a bag on one arm and a child in the other – when the doorbell rang behind me. I opened it to find a delivery man with a box from Wiggle, as if he’d just been sitting in the front garden waiting for me to arrive. It was very funny at the time.

    Just as long as you are sure he didn’t end up in the front garden because he had to jump from the bedroom window.

  37. @Marcus

    @ChrisO

    @Deakus

    We’ve even got to the stage where boxes from online retailers herald my monthly trips home, like flowers appearing in spring.

    The first five minutes is something on the lines of kiss kiss, hug children, get offered tea, “How was your flight… there’s a box for you in the cupboard under stairs and Rouleur in your drawer.”

    On one memorable occasion I had literally just arrived – I was still in the hallway with a bag on one arm and a child in the other – when the doorbell rang behind me. I opened it to find a delivery man with a box from Wiggle, as if he’d just been sitting in the front garden waiting for me to arrive. It was very funny at the time.

    Just as long as you are sure he didn’t end up in the front garden because he had to jump from the bedroom window.

    This, well played.

    All my mail from wiggle comes to work, its then tried on/inspected/etc at work and deflowered of all its unnecessary wrapping and or tags and boxes and taken home like id had it for years and just never had time to do anything with it.

    Shock of my life came when I kept hinting at how crap my wheels where on my new bike and the VMH opened up the wiggle site on her lap top and said, ” Just fkn order the damn things, theyve been on the wishlist for that long I sick of the website coming up every time I log on ”

    Score – new set of Duraace C24’s now proudly adorn the Fuji.

  38. @frank

    @Mike_P

    All of which makes me slightly grateful that my wife is simply the finance committee chair and not a VMH. I’m not sure my head could deal with the complications.

    Rule #12 issues could certainly come up for my two young boys as they grow.

    Easy. They get your hand-me-downs!

    +1 but stretching a 5 year old on to a 58cm Cervelo could be a slight challenge ;-)

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