One of the thrilling aspects of volunteering in the Bikeworks warehouse is being among the first to spot new interesting bikes that come in. And when those bikes are your size…then it’s time to decide whether you should snap it up for your own fleet. When this blue Bianchi Randonneur came in, what caught my eye first were the front and rear racks. This bike had definitely been taken across long distances. Second was the cantilever brakes. Since I commute down a steep hill, I need powerful brakes, and lately, I’ve been noticing that my road bikes, even with the double-pivot brakes, still require so much force that my arms get sore when I’m riding down those hills.

Still, I hesitated, because a casual observer in my garage might get the impression that I’m hoarding bikes. Especially road bikes. At this point, I decided that I would be selling 3 of my bikes to free up some space: The Apollo Dee-Lite, the Nishiki Custom Sport, and Sandra’s Trek Comfort bike. When the dust settled, I would have 5 bikes of my own, plus Sandra’s one. This seemed reasonable, considering that I am still in “learning mode” in regard to which bikes fit me best for any given season, terrain and mood.

So it was settled! I would buy the Bianchi for $80 and fix it up as my bad weather commuter/touring bike.