Thursday, April 29, 2010

Shallow thoughts

What have I become?

When I moved to Spokane--and this was more than a decade ago--my outlook on riding and bike equipment was a far cry from where I am today.

This difference, highlighted mostly by being pragmatic to a fault, was likely rooted in spending so many years around bike racers that could ride faster than most of us could imagine. My reality was that I had seen more races lost by using fancy equipment than races won because of it. I had heard riders complain incessantly about shorts, saddles, shoes and handlebars--generally the limiting factors to being comfortable on a bike. Yes, pro riders had preferences when it came to Shimano vs. Campy, but really, no one really gave a rip as long as the mechanic did a good job tuning their bikes.

Alas, things have changed. Maybe it's Rider 3's fault. I'll say it--he loves nice gear. And this is a good thing. Or maybe it's my own journey towards chamois-snifferdom. I appreciate nice gear too.

I think the turning point for me was my birthday two years ago. My wife bought me a Rapha jersey, complete with pink accents and contrasting armwarmers. Rapha--it of the clearly articulated branding, a drool-worthy tagline (glory through suffering) and outrageous prices. It was a perfect gift in some ways. In a million years I wouldn't have spent this kind of ching on so much bling, even if it is understated bling.

But holy crap, I love the jersey. It's one of the best fabricated pieces of clothing I own, riding clothing or otherwise.

So, in this spirit, today I've dropped in a few images of stuff I'd love to have in my garage. Do I need these? Not in most cases. Do I think they'd be fun to have? Undoubtedly. Go ahead and mock. I may in fact have become "that guy," but frankly don't really mind.

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