Bantam Rambleneur: The Second Honeymoon?

Under the St. Johns Bridge at Cathedral Park, 11 March 2023. Minolta XG-7/MD Rokkor 50mm f/1.7 lens/Cinestill 400D

I’m guessing for most people, there’s a “honeymoon” phase when they get a new (or new to them) bicycle. This phase can be a few days, a few weeks, a few months, or a year or two. I’m sure that for some people this phase goes on forever. I would define it as a feeling of not just love for the bike, but the desire to ride it a lot, and ride only that bike. Sure, you can say that the honeymoon doesn’t end if it’s the only bike you have, but I’d argue differently, as you’ll have to ride that bike as you have no other choice. But that feeling isn’t there anymore.

I took receipt of my Bantam custom bicycle in August of 2015. I’d say the honeymoon period lasted up to a year, then it became just one of the bikes in the stable. I still liked it, but I didn’t feel the burning desire to ride it exclusively anymore.

But can a bike have a second, or possibly third, honeymoon? Can a machine you’ve owned for a year, five years, ten years all of the sudden feel fresh and new again, and you want to ride it all the time? I’m guessing yes, because that’s the feeling I’ve been having as of late with the Bantam.

I talked about a month ago on how I did a few upgrades to the Bantam and now it feels fresh. This freshness has translated into a desire to ride it pretty much all the time. It’s been the bike I’ve used pretty much exclusively for the last couple months. You might say a good reason for that is my primary “daily” bike, the Raleigh Superbe, has been sidelined by a broken spoke since mid-January. But if I didn’t feel the fire for the Bantam, I would have gotten that bike fixed by now. (I still am going to, don’t worry.) And since I set it up to be more commute-utility friendly with the VO/Roadrunner Transporteur basket bag, it’s been capable of my day to day needs.

The Bantam at Cathedral Park, 11 March 2023. Minolta XG-7/MD Rokkor 50mm f/1.7 lens/Cinestill 400D

Since I’ve been feeling all tingly over the Bantam, I’ve decided to treat the bike a little bit. I also got a new VO/Roadrunner Half-Frame Wedge Bag. I already had a perfectly fine Jandd wedge frame bag, but it’s a bit dowdy now. Why not get a bag that I want, vs. one where I don’t mind it getting stolen? And this new Velo Orange wedge bag actually holds the things I put in there–chain lock, spare tube, saddle cover, etc.–much better than that old Jandd bag did. Plus, the “coyote” color matches the Transporteur bag, and is complimentary to the Yellow Haus Wunder Sac v4.0 stem bag!

Oh yeah, I FINALLY got around to installing a kickstand. Unfortunately it was not the Pletscher Dual-Leg kickstand that I’ve had around forever–there were clearance issues. I found a Portland Design Works Power Stance Kickstand at REI. It’s only a single-leg one, but it’s designed for big heavy bikes like e-Bikes and cargo bikes, so it feels fairly stable so far. (The sliding leg to adjust it is a very nice touch.) I may see if there’s a different kind of double-leg kickstand around, but this will suffice if I don’t.

How long will this second honeymoon last? I don’t know. I sure hope it lasts through touring season, as I plan to use this bike a lot!

For photos of the Bantam through the years, see the dynamic flickr album below, or click here.

The Bantam custom under the St. Johns Bridge. 11 March 2023
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4 thoughts on “Bantam Rambleneur: The Second Honeymoon?

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  1. Looks great Shawn! I understand the resurgent love for a bicycle. I go through phases like this also and it’s usually due to some change for comfort, like a new saddle or handlebar, or new gearing.

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