Much like the frame, they’re a perfect marriage of form and function. They hold tasty beverages, they keep out grit, and they let riders drink without spilling.
I’ll admit, my first waterbottles were treasured for their ability to let me sneak rum and whatever into venues that wouldn’t sell booze to me for the silly reason that I was too young.
But as I started biking, I gained a new appreciation. Filling the bottles is as important as filling the tires with air before a ride. Then there’s the subtle joy in learning to put the bottles into the cages without breaking cadence, and finally the zen that comes with learning to drink out of the side of one’s mouth, staying nice and aero, and not obscuring one’s view.
But the ritual is the best. Find a new shop? Buy a bottle. Take a trip? A bottle’s a great souvenir.