People develop hobbies and sometimes those hobbies take hold of them. They can become an obsession that interferes with work and family. People with this affliction will get all excited when their hobby magazine or catalog comes in the mail.
Watch a geek when Wired is delivered, or a hunter when the Cabela's catalog is due. It's not very different from an obsession with pornography, and in fact there is a web-enabled thing called "bike porn". Bike porn looks like this:
I understand bike porn. I believe that I think about bikes the way Ralphie Parker thinks about a Red Rider BB Gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time.
I like to see the different bikes and see how people have outfitted them. I enjoy the unusual, such as belt-drives, electric shifters or 29-inch wheels. I have a folder of bicycle pictures on my hard drive, and one of my favorites is a tandem with a quad-front-chain-ring. It's a thing of beauty.
On a lousy weather day, many bicyclists will indulge in bike porn, looking at touring bikes, pursuit bikes, or snow bikes. Ahh, a Pugsley with studded tires. That's all pretty mainstream. Some people even ogle recumbents (shudder).
I've moved beyond that, in the same way that a wine connoisseur will go beyond choosing by country of origin and start pursuing narrowly defined niches, such as farms that use a particular fertilizer.
On an inclement day when I'm not going to ride but the bike bug is gnawing at my ear, I indulge in "bike tour planning", sussing out possible bicycle adventures for nicer days.
I can obsess about bike trip planning the way some people do their collections. I work the maps and the Google and teh interweb and puzzle out new/better routes for trips I'd like to take someday, and it may be that a small fire could start and I wouldn't notice it. I'd notice a big fire, though. Probably.
Here's my most recent Bike Tour Planning Porn, a circumnavigation of the Chesapeake Bay, 524 miles. Click on the image below if you'd like to see a larger image.