Thanks to another magazine subscription choice that I made before leaving the bike industry, the latest issue of Dirt Rag arrived in my mailbox over the weekend.
I like off-road riding, even if the only time I ever get to go is when I'm racing short-track at PIR. I don't own a car, and I'm busy most weekends now, so going up to Sandy Ridge and other sites out of the city is simply not a practical option for me. Mountain biking was never a big part of my life to begin with, and my career transition has made it smaller still.
So as I flipped through the pages of the April 2013 Dirt Rag tonight, I was aware that I looked at the articles with a different mindset now.
Super-Fat-tired bikes look like a ton of fun -- and very highly prices for how practical they would be for me.
The new mountain bikes with 27.5-inch wheels seemed like another equally unnecessary cousin to the 650b wheel. And equally expensive.
A look back at the Cyclocross World Championships -- the first ever held outside of Europe -- showed me how organized and "pro" things in 'cross have become in only a few short years' time.
A related article discussed rule changes for the 2013 'cross season, including no more beer or money hand-ups at any USA Cycling sanctioned races. So Cyclocross is becoming more organized AND less fun. Add in the ongoing attempts by USA Cycling to shut down OBRA and it would appear that I left cyclocross just in time.
The other night, Sweetie looked at me and said, "You have to race short-track at least a couple of times in July, right? Please?" I know it gives her pleasure to watch me race, and she doesn't care if I finish dead last. But if I accept both out of town gigs in June and take a much-needed week of rest when I get back, I fear I will only have energy to race the final week. And it won't be pretty. Worse, it will feel silly to only show up for the final race of the series. But I promised her I'd give it some thought. Still, I don't feel excited at the prospect right now.
I am looking at the bicycle industry and all its most recent developments as if it's some kind of overblown arms race. And I find myself more and more disgusted with it all, the unsustainability of it. I find no excitement in the latest doo-dads anymore. I have the bikes I have, and they work fine, and they fit me quite well and I'm happy with what I have.
Someday I'd like to be able to afford to install a lightweight, efficient electric-assist unit on my cargo bike. But other than that I'm all set.
It has been fascinating to watch this transition in my mind and heart. Not sad, just really fascinating.