It’s that time of year again. Shorter days and plummeting nighttime temperatures in much of the country make it challenging to ride as much as we’d like. Some resort to riding indoor trainers to maintain their hard-earned fitness, while others would sooner accept water torture.
It’s also the time of year when consumerism is pushed upon us in every way imaginable. The message is clear: sale, sale, sale, buy this, buy that. As someone who tries to live simply, it’s enough to make me vomit. Yet, it’s an interesting juxtaposition with a gear-centric sport like cycling.
What do we really need? One could argue that in terms of bikes, skis, and other outdoor toys, it’s far less than most of us have. Just think back to how far that one bike got you as a kid.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to upgrade your equipment as long as you’re honest with yourself about it. Realize that in most cases you don’t NEED anything more and that it’s more a matter of wanting something different.
I’m no exception. At the moment I want another bike (who doesn’t?). The surging popularity of gravel riding and racing has me wanting something that will do the job better than my road and mountain bikes. Plus, some of the newer gravel bikes are pretty damn cool. It would be easy to convince myself that I absolutely need a new gravel bike. The reality, however, is that I could make due with my current bikes - at least until I’m ready to upgrade on my own terms.
Rather than succumb to the urge to buy a new bike or other toys this week, I’m going to unplug (at least the best I can) and spend as much time playing outdoors as possible. It’s a challenge to get in enough outdoor exercise to keep me sane this time of year (I need a lot!), so I’ll be riding one of my bikes whenever possible. Ideally this will be with friends and family since nothing beats a bike ride with good people. I hope you are able to do the same.