A "forever bike" has different meanings to different people. It might be a really nice bike for which you've highly researched and invested. It might be a "quiver-killer" that consolidates all your bikes into one. It might be one from your childhood that you've held on to and resisted selling over the years. Or it might be the one that, more morbidly, is the last one before "the big ride". For me, my Campeur is my forever bike. It has so many memories including getting married, tours, travels, and oh so many cockpit and drivetrain setups. Simply put, the sentimental value of this bike far outweighs the monetary value it might have.
Scouring my archives, this is the earliest picture I could find of the complete bike. My detective skills based on the dirty tires leads me to think there must be another, earlier picture, but I can't find it. Maybe it's on an old flip-phone or Adrian's old LG Chocolate. Dura-Ace shifters, derailleurs, 10sp gearing (when it was brand new), dynamo lighting, carbon brake levers, and ready for all sorts of duties it will soon see.
Out of all my bikes, this one has the most airline miles, by far. Adrian and I even got married on our Campeurs on a tour of Denmark, Germany, and Sweden. Yeah, it was ridiculously cute.
You have to pack some reminders of home when going overseas.
The Campeur is a sublime on-road tourer, but since I don't ride on the road so often anymore, it mostly lives on the trainer. It's just that my Low Kicker has a setup that is more conducive to my current riding style, component preferences, and setup. That is, I mostly ride canal paths, rail trails, gravel roads, and basically anything that minimizes interactions with cars.
Selling it has crossed my mind before, but I KNOW that if I sold it, I would immediately regret it. I've heard countless stories about cars, bikes, furniture, jewelry, etc...where people had seller's remorse immediately when the cash hit their hands. I typically skew towards the minimalist side, but some items demand a level of preservation due to their personal impact and meaning. And while it takes up a little bit more room in my garage and sometimes the office, I can always look at it and remember some truly fantastic times.
Do you have a forever bike? What makes it yours?