I need your advice. Is there an easy way to tell if an interest has crossed the line to obsession?

pink bike in Florence
A pink bike in Florence, Italy

Let’s say that… oh… a woman likes bicycles. Maybe she goes on vacation and takes a picture of one.

yellow bike in Traverse City
A yellow bike in Traverse City, Michigan

Or twenty.

And then maybe while on vacation she buys a t-shirt with a bicycle on it, comes home, wears it all the time and then thinks about framing the fabric when the shirt becomes unwearable.

bike in Rome
A beat up old thing on the streets of Rome

Maybe she finds herself staring at her daughter’s new bike in the garage, filled with gladness at the sight of it.

2015-07-23 17.25.13
A bike in our backyard

Maybe she sees an old lady riding down the bike path one day and the old lady is fluffy and plump and her bike is adorable and so is the pink helmet that is crushing her permed hair. Maybe she has to stop herself from hopping out of the car and running to the old lady and hugging her bike-riding cuteness all to death.

If there was such a theoretical woman, could it be possible that she has developed some sort of obsession?

And if she exists, should she seek help or just keep taking pictures of bikes?

Because she’s pretty sure she’s just going to keep going–she may be batty, but she’s I’m relatively harmless.

Right? I’m probably not due directly for the loony bin or anything. This new excitement is related to the new bike path some governmental office is running through our county. They’ve connected it to our little town and now the kids and I can ride in safety right through some woodlands and meadows and all other sorts of nature. We don’t even have to worry about getting hit by a monster truck!

When I was growing up my parents lived on a busy road in the country, which meant we had a high chance of getting hit by a semi and then thrown into the nearest drainage ditch while biking.

I didn’t find this option appealing.

And then one day I was riding my bike on my parents’ farm, ducked to go under a low tree branch, and smashed right into the back of the camper. The damage to my bike and my ego was fairly permanent. It’s taken me two decades to get over the trauma, but it seems I’ve overcompensated.

Now I’m eyeing a new bike at the little shop in town. It’s a retro style and the most delicious shade of tangerine. I would look super spiffy riding down the trail next to my daughter on her turquoise retro bike, and I think I’d be glad that I gave biking another chance. We could pedal off into the retro-colored sunset, enjoying one another’s company.

What about you? Do you need to revive any old interests? Do you have any new obsessions taking you by surprise?

2013-10-18 07.59.39
This one’s for all you boys who insist everything needs an engine. (in Florence)



7 Comments on Bicycles: I am internationally obsessed.

  1. cherifields
    July 23, 2015 at 9:29 pm (2 years ago)

    I think you should make a side income selling photos. Yours are amazing and lots of people like bikes. They represent freedom, exploration, exercise, and health all in a moment. Plus they can be delightfully attractive in their own right. I remember seeing a fancy floral one at Saks and Target a couple years ago. I wanted it badly, but the $500 price tag was too steep.
    For me, if there was a T shirt with a spiral staircase on it I would buy and wear it. I don’t have too many pictures of stairs, but that’s because I’m rotten at taking pictures of anything, but I can tell you which capital buildings have the best ones (Missouri and New York). I’m not batty, so I don’t think you are either. 😀

  2. Jessie Clemence
    July 23, 2015 at 10:18 pm (2 years ago)

    Stairs?! That’s awesome. I’ve never tried to take a good photo of stairs. I’ll see what I can do for you!

  3. David
    July 24, 2015 at 4:03 am (2 years ago)

    I wonder if there might be a group (like AA) for people with bike obsessions. A friend of mine has a collection of several. He doesn’t care about cars. I haven’t ridden my bike much of late – ever since I got a Fitbit I have been walking instead to keep the weight down. But I do enjoy cycling through the country lanes as far from other traffic as possible. The challenge is less from the traffic and more from the potholes in the roads. Our poor cash-strapped councils can’t afford to spend our taxes on repairing the roads.

  4. Jessie Clemence
    July 24, 2015 at 5:59 pm (2 years ago)

    What do they spend it on instead? The roads in Michigan are also terrible, but we have wide temperature swings all year long– from 20 below zero to 95 above. The roads can only handle so much!

  5. David
    July 24, 2015 at 6:14 pm (2 years ago)

    I think they spend it on their wages and pensions Jessie.

  6. Jessie Clemence
    July 25, 2015 at 6:05 pm (2 years ago)

    Ah, yes. We get cranky about governmental pensions on this side of the pond, as well.

  7. memyselfandkids.com
    July 26, 2015 at 6:48 pm (2 years ago)

    Call it a passion. People are all about discovering your passion these days (or rediscovering it in your case). I don’t know about any obsessions taking me by surprise. I wonder if my wife would answer differently.