Buying, Not Riding

Do you buy more cycling gear when you can’t ride?

I’m too much of a chicken prudent to ride alone in this big new city, and K has been on business travel for practically forever. (Two weeks.)

I seem to be compensating for this by shopping for bike things. Mercifully I’ve confined myself to window shopping, but in the last two days I’ve considered buying

–new pedals
–new shoes
–a new jersey
–bar tape
–a saddle
–water bottle cages
–and an entire new bicycle.

This last one is both hilarious and worrisome. It’s K’s turn for the next bike, you see, but he can’t make up his mind. He wants a new hard-tail mountain bike, but his current full-suspension mountain bike could also use replacing. It’s a little excessive for this terrain, and his riding style would be better on a slightly smaller frame. When he plotted out the cost for the hard-tail, I almost choked, and told him to replace the suspension bike first. That would be a straight parts transfer from the (not very) old bike, so the out-of-pocket is just the frame. If we’d had the time for it in March, when he demo’d the Santa Cruz Tallboy, he would have done it right then. Now that the demo is fading from his mind, he is back to indecision.

He’s trying to prolong his indecision definitely, by foisting the decision off onto me. Which has me looking at mountain bikes. The problem with mountain biking is that I will almost certainly dislike it. My bike buying is thus in a delicate position. I don’t want the bike to be so cheap that I hate it even more, but it’s also a silly waste to spend a lot on something I will most assuredly not love. Except, it’s hard to buy something that you know isn’t as good, even if you also know that you don’t *need* something as good. My city bike came with such frustratingly inferior parts that I’m skittish of not being within a certain distance of top-of-the-line. (Not top-of-the-line itself, because the difference is mostly weight, not functionality.)

It’s all academic right now, at least. I’m going to try hard to make K take his own turn. Maybe, at most, I’ll get those pedals/shoes/bottle cages/bar tape. In the meantime, maybe window shopping through this heat wave isn’t so bad.

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