In early summer last year, regular readers will recall that I was toying with the idea of picking up a Rivendell Betty Foy frame and slowly building it up, in addition to my Sam Hillborne. When I mentioned this, I received a variety of reactions, including those who couldn't understand why I would choose to purchase a bike that is supposed to function so similarly to the Hillborne. While on one hand I completely agreed with those folks, and had to admit I did feel a little ridiculous even thinking about the idea, on the other I did see the benefits of having two distinct bikes for different purposes. Although I knew that their functionality could, and likely would overlap, I still found myself thinking that the Betty could be an ideal option. I like Rivendell's geometry, and more importantly have found it to be comfortable for me - allowing me to ride longer distances, so while there are alternate options that could be explored, the Betty just seemed to be one that would potentially have a positive end result.
Soon after this conversation, I started a major hunt for a city bike. I went through a few, but never quite found the perfect one. Part of my issue, I'm fairly certain now, is that I've grown used to having a little more speed and a bit lighter bike while riding the Hillborne (and formerly the Pacer). When we picked up a Soma Buena Vista frame several months ago, I thought it would be the perfect solution. Because of a variety of happenings (the largest of which was buying a frame that was too small), I knew that the hunt was going to continue.
One afternoon while I was pondering what to do with the Soma, I remembered my thoughts about picking up a Betty Foy. Coincidentally during this thought, I also received an email from Rivendell stating that the new Betty's were available and they were offering some incentives to purchasers. Perhaps it was the right time for this project? At first, I talked myself out of it, but the more I thought about it, I realized that one of three things would likely happen.
1) I would fall in love with the Betty Foy and realize that it functions exactly the same as the Sam Hillborne, and would subsequently end up selling the Hillborne to prevent duplicate bicycles.
2) I wouldn't like the Betty at all, and would sell the frame to attempt to recover most of the funds spent.
3) I would discover that the two bikes have completely different but functional purposes for me, and decide to keep them both.
At first, even the idea of selling the Hillborne sent my heart pounding. Could I really sell a bike I love so much if the unthinkable happened? I've pictured myself on more than one occasion riding the Hillborne 20-30 years from now. It's been the constant I've needed in the bike fold, and beyond any of my daydreams, I'm simply attached to him. However, willing to at least consider the possible outcome of any of the scenarios above, I went for the purchase of the Betty frame.