I just came back from a ride – practicing what my bike builder, Grant Petersen has been preaching for years – “Just Ride” (he actually wrote a book with the same title). He states that biking is more about enjoying the bicycle ride rather than emulating professional bicycle racers. These days, there are more lycra clad riders (includes me) than riders in regular clothes virtually everywhere.
Up means Down later
For this post, I have to remind myself again that I was trying to compare and contrast bike riding to daily life. So here’s a quick lesson: If you must ride uphill, then there will be a downhill.
Riding uphill is hard for me because I weigh 30-40 lbs. more than the average bicycle racer. Despite that, I like riding hills because it’s really a challenge. After the hill, I could feel a sense of accomplishment.
In life we have many “uphills” that we face, almost daily. I look at it as if it’s just a bump in the road. After a challenge, we get better facing the same challenge, and then some – and we end up successful in our next endeavor. Life without challenge is not life yet some people try to shelter their loved ones from any challenge.
I don’t know if you guys noticed but in the past 20 or so years the bicycle have changed so much. Today, we have bikes made of steel, aluminum, titanium, bamboo, wood and carbon fiber. What used to be called 10-speed have now evolved to a maximum of 33 speed and it’s not done developing yet. Disc brakes are now the latest and shifting gears are now done electronically (in some expensive bikes).
So what does it do for the average bicycle rider? They are faced with a cornucopia of overwhelming choices. So what’s an average rider to do?
First: we figure out what kind of riding are we going to do. Second: which type of bike is the most suited to the type of riding we plan to do (is it offroad? mostly pavement? commuting, etc.?) Third: How much budget are we willing to spend? Fourth – what color? Picking the right color (as trivial as it is) is very important to the enjoyment of the bike later.
So how does that translate to life in general? When planning a major purchase or (setting up a project), we should do the same thing. First: What do we want the equipment to do (or the project to accomplish). Second: Which type of equipment is the most suited to what we intend to do (what are the resources we need for the project?) goals. Third, how do we finance the purchase or the project. If it’s a project we do a budget and a cash flow projection. Fourth: Pick the right color for the equipment (Find ways to maintain our passion for the project).
And my final suggestion, ride slower to enjoy; you don’t want to miss the scenery.