So. We all know I was bitching over the winter about how annoyed I was with riding the Beast because its gears are so low and I have to spend all my time in the highest ring on the crank. And I’ve been needing a bike that I could utilize in the winter months and in less than ideal conditions–roads in various states of disrepair, or, not even roads at all as occasionally I might have the whimsy to ride on a non-paved path. Well, so, I was originally looking for a hybrid that would offer better gearing and was maybe a little lighter than the Beast. When I expressed this to Derrick at CC last Sunday, he started to lead me through the land of fitness bikes–Giant FCR and the Raleigh Cadent. Pretty sweet looking hybrids, these. But as I continued elaborating on my intended use for this new theoretical bike, he paused and said, “I think what you really need is a cycle cross bike.”
At which point he proceeded to show me a Masi Speciale CX that costs as much as my OCR. But I found myself salivating as I looked at the bike–in a warm “root beer” brown–he showed me as an example, pointing out the heavier wheels and other important components for the rougher ride. Like dangling a carrot in front of a rabbit. My eyes filled with the stars of blind love. A bike I can take both on the road and on the towpath, while maintaining the kind of gearing I expect when riding, and something I could potentially use for long rides where I needed to pack gear? Hmmmm….
So then I started thinking about cycle cross bikes and how one might fit into my life perfectly as a second bicycle to my OCR, which would still be my main bike for ideal conditions, but the cycle cross bike could be substituted for the less than ideal riding conditions without a loss of power or speed. Such as early spring. Such as TOSRV.
Hmmm. So my mind is racing now, palms sweating. And then yesterday I send a quick email off to Derrick to inquire further about cycle cross bikes and all my options. At the end of it, I learn I could also have a custom Surly Cross Check bike built to my specs for a little more mullah. And he is having a Masi Speciale in something close to my size sent to the Peninsula CC for a test ride on Friday. Mind is racing. Mind is obsessing. Toys, toys, toys.
Recite and repeat: I am not in the market to buy anything right now. I’m just looking. It’s all for education’s sake. Something to ruminate about until fall when I could really use a bike such as the cycle cross. Must sell the Beast. Of course, I won’t get much cash from that to apply to a new bike. Still. First things first, right?
One would ask, “Why look now for something you might buy later?”
Um. Cuz. I. Um. Well, you know. B-b-b-bikes!
I left work with my mind dizzy with possibilities. I could order a bike especially for me with the CC mechanics doing what they do best, working their magic–the magic they use to rebuild their own bikes. Or I could get myself a nice looking Masi, tripped out in fenders and slightly knobby tires and a pannier rack. Oooh… the possibilities. I could already easily see myself riding on either bike. I pictured bouncing over wet, potholed roads in comfort and style. Climbing Snowville Road on my way to work. Riding on the towpath with Diane and Jeff. Winter (when it’s above 40 degrees) riding with ABC. No worries (or as much) about flats and maintaining good speed that I can’t on my hybrid, managing to keep up with my compadres despite the conditions. Hmmm….
I am not in the market for buying anything right now. I’m just looking.
I tried to forget about all this last night. I went out to an Indians game with Diane, Jeff, and Michael. Of course, Diane and Michael both separately teased me on the topic of bike purchasing again, and despite the one beer I drank, my mind did not relax and it was again going wild with thoughts of purchasing another bike. I thought about it all night on the way home. Probably in my sleep. It was the first thought I had this morning once I became coherent.
The little devil on my shoulder is whispering, “You know, if you’re going to get another bike, you should spend the money for something you know you would really enjoy. And a custom bike built to your preferences would be the best of all options.” Those Surlys have some really swanky off-the-wall colors (check out their naming schemes).
The little angel on my right shoulder replies, “But you’re thinking about grad school! You need a digital video camera! I thought you wanted to go skiing in Utah this December with your friend J! You should save money. What if you want a motorcycle?”
Devil says, “Yeah, but nothing makes you more happy in life than the fahrfignugen–the pleasure of the ride–via bicycle. Bicycles are the one thing you purchase that you make good use of.”
True that having a bike custom built for me may cost a little extra money (and not nearly as much as you would think, really). But it would be done totally right. So the urge to just let go and splurge seems justified, in a twisted way. The Masi, though, is pretty nice-looking and probably all that I really need. I’m definitely no expert rider, that’s for sure. I’m not even that great, comparatively, to the hammerheads out there in my club. I’m pretty mediocre, so do I really need a custom built bike?
Well, technically, I don’t even need another bike. The one I have is fine for most purposes. And I could suffer with the slight annoyances of the Beast’s watered down performance. I mean, come on, I don’t even ride that much in the winter. I do ride a lot in the spring, though.
Masi. Surly. Masi, Surly. MasiSurlyMasiSurlyMasiSurlyMasiSurlymasisurlymasisurlymasisurly….
The sad truth of this situation is that when I start obsessing like this, it usually indicates that I am in the market for buying. I never torture myself so otherwise. But I know I need to control the urge to spend and focus my obsessions elsewhere. Like on my job. Which pays for these obsessive pleasures I’m compulsively drawn to. At least it’s a healthy hobby. I’ll probably live to be 110 with no heart problems and die peacefully in my sleep. After years and years of pedaling the endless streets of the world…