First Ride of the Year, and a Reality Check


I enjoyed my first ride of 2013 on this fancy new bike. I road up the shore directly into a stiff northeast wind that made the balmy 37 degrees feel much cooler, but it was a nice and easy 15 miler appropriate for the mild cold I’m currently battling. I’m pleased to have such a nice ride. My last road bike, a Trek 1200, I purchased used for $400 in 1990, which was an immense amount of money for a 14 year old to spend on a bicycle at the time. I still have it, and it proved to be money well spent. I shelled out $900 for this bike, which was purchased used from a friend who works at a bike shop and constantly upgrades. With him being the same height and weight, I couldn’t pass up the chance to add another bike to the stable that should give me another 20 years or more of good service. I believe in Warren Buffet’s buy and hold strategy and sticking to it through the decades. For a reality check, however, I’m plopping in the hilarious comments from a friend of mine who lives north of here among the hardscrabble folk near the town of Finland. He’s responding to a question I had about these funny pedals that you click into (which are new to me):

Do I use pedals like this? Are you serious? You lost me at carbon Bro. If my fingers weren’t burned up right now due to touching the muffler on my chainsaw during a crazy three day firewood cutting fiasco, I’d send you a scathing ten page rebuke for even considering such a bike, let alone those silly pedals. If I was to drop 900 bones on a bike, and I have, I’d get a Surly. Steel is real man.  I have a Raleigh Sojourn and it’s a tank, but that thing could pull a school bus and when and if I ever tour the planet, I think it will do ten times the job of a feather weight, neon, I wear tight shorts race bike.

Hilarious. Although this makes me feel like a Prius driving (I do have one) metrosexual from the city that walks around in clicky shoes rather than the burly mountain man I fancy myself to be! Oh well, I’ll take the hit I guess. It’s amazing how you can climb large hills with this carbon fiber bike. I haven’t made the leap to the tight bike shorts yet though. I’m training for a 50K trail run later this year, and I find it essential to have this other training option. It helps prevent injury that running too many high miles would bring.

I promise this blob won’t devolve into a daily workout journal. Eventually I will get into the squalor hoarding situation I grew up in, and my liberation from it. A little at a time I reckon. The outdoors are a huge part of my life and sanity though, and I like to think there are universal truths in these experiences that can hopefully spur others on in their own interests. Of course I think everybody should be interested in exploring the land around them, and in being in better shape while doing it. Occasionally folks will get back to me to let me know my column encouraged them to go camping with their family, on a picnic, or to simply exercise outside more. This warms my heart.

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