The ultimate sign of “adulting” has to be a fully-fledged mortgage. You’ve sacrificed a lifetime of yearly bicycle upgrades and the coveted smashed avo on toast for a financial institution to own your soul and control your movements for the next 30, or if you’re lucky, 25 years.
So it got me thinking about how to find the perfect home that meets my bike obsession, or to be more precise – my bike obsession and my finance’s tolerance of it.
What’s essential for the cyclist?
What will you regret the minute you move your smart trainer into the lounge room?
What can you live without? Joke – I’m not sacrificing a thing – I’m a Millennial*
I’ve complied a list of suggestions that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you take into account when you’re starting to search for your forever-home. These will assist you to maintain your sanity within the confines of your future dwelling. As for sanity, I’ve heard about that but it sounds kind of dull, although you’d better get used to it because let’s be honest, you’ll soon be too poor to go out ever again.
Introducing the La Velocita all-important, critical, integral, must-have, absolutely vital aspects list for the cyclist-friendly home-sweet-home!
1. Four walls and a roof
Obvious but essential. No prizes for guessing why. A poorly rested cyclist is a mediocre cyclist at best. And no self-respecting cyclist would want their pride and joy to get wet.
Must be of an appropriate size and fully functioning, because cyclists love to eat and you’ll need to cater for the cyclist, and their bike friends. A large and well-stocked fridge. And if you can possibly kidnap / recruit / bribe or employ a personal chef, then you’ve hit the jackpot. Or give your loved one a voucher to a cooking course for their birthday, win-win**
3. Lounge room
Should have ample space for a massage chair, and a yoga mat. A foam roller should be part of the décor. Should the trainer migrate its way in there during the Tour, there should be no opposition from anyone who loves you.
Give me a walk-in-robe and I will give you --- appropriate storage for all my cycling gear and accessories (well almost all).
5. A pain cave
Up until this point I’ve been deprived of this privilege – or torture. I feel a twinge of jealousy when I hear the stories of elaborate set-ups with trainers, mats, fans, dimmer switches to set the mood, better tunes than the top DJs and the speediest of internet connections.
Preferably NBN connected at the speed of light. Vital at this time of year for Zwift and streaming races all over the world.
The bike must be secure at all times. Ideally I’d love a garage where bikes can happily hang before being strategically positioned in the hallway for an early and stealth-like escape. (But only if the garage is heated, cooled, and suitably lined—I’d hate for my trusted steed not to feel comfortable). Failing such a garage, a suitable alternative would be a large spare bedroom – somewhere cosy and warm, close to the central heating duct.
8. A wash bay
If it’s true that a clean bike is a fast bike, then I’ve uncovered the perfect excuse for being so slow. Apartment living has proven difficult, more for my cycling friends than for myself. The flecks of dirt are an embarrassment but the crunchy sounding chain grates on their nerves. Just give me a patch of grass and a hose, and I’ll happily host the next bike washing party.
9. Doggo Pad
Aka place for the future dog to sleep. Because we all love #otherpeoplespets and you need a training buddy to walk off that lactic acid.
10. Location, location, location.
You need to live about 10-15 minutes away from the start of your local bunchie to give yourself a little warm up, but not so far that you have to sacrifice too much pillow time. It would be amazing to live close by to your cycling BFF, in case you miss the ride. Being close to the finishing café is absolutely gold. Hot tip à recommend your closest cafe to your cycling mates with tales of “THE BEST COFFEE IN THE WORLD.” You can thank me later.
11. Survival tactic 1-0-1
Living in the zone, the cycling friendly zone, will increase your odds of survival, ideally in an area with courteous drivers, ample bike lanes, bike paths and other cycling enthusiasts in your neighbourhood.
A gym should be within walking distance if you’re like me and need to work on your non-existent upper body strength and your new pad should be within a stone’s throw of an indoor cycling studio just in case the weather gods aren’t playing nice.
Equally the new home-sweet-home should be within close proximity to your Local Bike Shop. There’s nothing better than sharing the love and supporting small business, and acknowledging the value the LBS plays within the cycling community and the cycling industry.
If money were no object, I reckon I could add a few more things onto the list; for example, a helipad for my private helicopter that can take us at a moment’s notice off to Bright for epic bike times. But being realistic I’m sacrificing my 4 coffees a day at $4 each for bricks and mortar, and for the next bike-loving generation I’m sure it’ll be even worse, so this list will suffice, at least until I’m picked up by a pro team and paid squillions.
Positivity is key, and honestly, I’d be happy for even half of the above list to be a reality. In the meantime, I can keep dreaming with my Millennial whinger hipster mates as we critique our fresh-harvest single origin, seasonally-adjusted coffee blend and sit on upturned milk crates.
*Millennial is such a dirty word these days. Don’t judge me.
**This is not a win-win. This is a disastrous idea likely to end in divorce.