Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Bike We Ride

I have been thinking a lot about the bike I ride.  It is not the bike I originally purchased and is a mix of parts that only sort of fit.  I do not think many roadies look at my bike with envy.  Basically, it is 9 speed (yup, now two speeds behind) Shimano 105 from my '07 Trek 1500 mounted on an '05 Fuji Professional frame (with a crack in the top tube).

Cycling is a world of shiny new toys, there is always revolutionary technology, a new piece of equipment, or some secretive update that the pros are using.  There are hundreds of companies fighting to stand apart and make your ride faster, more compliant, lighter, more comfortable, more aerodynamic, and cooler looking.  The result is a consumer that is always talking about the newest thing.  This year, Sram released their true 22 when only a season before they revamped their top end equipment.  It feels like sometimes we get lost in a world of gear and forget that we are simply riding a bike.

It can be hard to pedal In a group when the guys around you are riding new Madones with zipp wheels or an electronic Ultegra equipped Venge.  Don't get me wrong they are beautiful bikes and I would love to ride one if I could.  However, I have come to realize that the most important component on a bike is the rider.  Without a rider a bike is no more than a drying rack.

Sure, a power meter will help focus my training, a lighter bike will make climbing easier, and 22 gears will allow me to keep the most efficient cadence.  In my situation I have more weight to shave off personally than I can ever shave off my bike.  When it comes down to it I am still riding in that group and taking my turns in a pace line.  We all ride different bikes and we all ride for different reasons, lets do a better job of enjoying the ride and less of wondering how the newest piece of equipment will make us better.  Don't lose focus on what we are all on the bike to do...

Ride, as fast as we can...or have fun.

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