Friday, February 12, 2010

Bike repairs causing dissension

Let's face it: riding a bike can turn into an expensive hobby.  That is especially true if said bicycle always seems to need fixing, new parts, adjustments, etc. etc.  It can turn into something that costs a little bit of money.  I wish it was totally free, but it isn't.  There are bike repairs, and then there's the cost of driving to the trails, sometimes the cost of paying money to ride at the trails, cost for clothes, maps, and dozens of  other things that could possibly be purchased to fuel one's mountain biking habit.

Repairs are, by far, easily the greatest expense of them all.  I've been attempting to do most of my repairs on my own, but even then there is still the cost of new parts, and I simply don't have the know-how or tools to do some of the more intensive repairs.  It ends up costing money.

If it is just a hobby, it can turn into a great "black hole" of wasted money, as well as time.  For those of us that call ourselves mountain bikers, however, it is never just a hobby.  It is a way of life.  Mountain biking is our ticket to freedom from the punch-the-clock day job, endless lectures and pages of reading in the classroom, what was once a great salaried job now turned time-consuming nightmare, the smog of the city, the hustle and bustle of becoming "someone," and any hundreds of things that are considered "normal" by the general populace.  Since when is "normal" good? Normal sucks!  I decided long ago that I was never going to live a "normal" life by any standard, and that I absolutely hated the idea of living in suburbia and sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen crunching numbers all day.

The pressure to attain to that idea of what is "normal" and what is "achievement" is so high.  And hey, at times the money that'll come rolling in from having that job in urban Atlanta could look like the ticket to a nice bike, with plenty of funds to repair it when it breaks.  6 months into the "normal" life or the life of "achievement," you'll realize that hey, you never have to fix that $5,000 bike you bought because you never have time to ride it anymore.  So it sits in the garage in pristine condition, just so you can take pictures of it and post it on a message board and try to look hardcore.  When in fact, you've owned that bike for 6 months and only put 100 miles on that.

The moral of the story:  don't be that person!  Never be that person! I've decided that that won't be me.  And over the course of the next couple of years, if you stick around and read this blog, I'll prove that to you.

The real moral of the real story: keep your priorities in order.  Biking is all well and good, and while it feels like it is necessary to survival, it most often isn't. Keep everything in it's proper place: maintain balance in all things. Have fun, don't live a boring life, and definitely don't waste your money on a $5,000 bike if you can't afford it, and especially if you won't use it.

(PS I don't own a $5,000 bike.  But I wish I did ;)  )


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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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Mountain biking, plain and simple. Trail reviews, ride reports, and philosophical musings induced by delirium from grinding up way too many vertical feet.

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