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Let's be real honest here(51 posts)

Let's be real honest hereDougSloan
Aug 20, 2002 1:43 PM
Who among us can't train as much as they would like, so they buy a bunch of fancy crap to try to make up for it, a tenth or a hundreth of a mph here and there? Aero carbon wheels, carbon and Ti this and that, specialized bikes, skinsuits, aero helmets -- where does the madness end?

I'd take a moderately priced straight forward bike and plenty of time to train over all the fancy stuff any day. Anyone with me?

Time must be the most expensive commodity on the planet.

Since time is a commoditySantaCruz
Aug 20, 2002 1:48 PM want to have the most enjoyable ride you can reasonably afford. I love the ride of my Calfee, not because of its weight or that I might be able to go .01 mph faster.
You got the first part right ...Humma Hah
Aug 20, 2002 1:50 PM
I can't train as much as I like, so riding my old piece of crap helps me get the maximum possible advantage out of it.

I don't do the weight-weenie thing, laugh at aero carbon wheels, distain the skinsuit look (although I do appreciate a helmet that doesn't drag like a foam beer cooler). I ride in ordinary shorts on my commute to work, ride MTB baggies and a plain jersey on longer weekend rides.

But I lust for finer old equipment, and the time to ride it, preferably in the company of others who appreciate finer old equipment. $4500 for a custom Moon, nah. $6000 for a 1898 Wright Van Cleve with wooden rims and enough paint left to make out the name ... now THAT would be a bargain!
I guess I'm dirt poorMel Erickson
Aug 20, 2002 1:54 PM
because I don't have the time or the fancy equipment, just a used Ultegra equipped Softride Solo. No Ti. No aero wheels. No specialized bike. No aero helmet. No skinsuit.
You're absolutely right.brider
Aug 20, 2002 1:58 PM
Time is indeed the most expensive commodity on the planet. And, unlike $, once it's gone, you can't make any more.

Get the $ thing out of the way so you can buy your time back and do the things you REALLY like to do.
Toys! I need more toys!MXL02
Aug 20, 2002 1:58 PM
Part of the fun of this sport for me is collecting racing quality equipment, even though I don't race. I almost went broke trying to do that with wife is not happy, but she is a little more understanding with high priced bikes than she is with high priced autos.

I don't buy fancy stuff to make up for a lack of riding time, per se, I buy it because my limited riding time is so precious, that when I do get a chance to ride, I want it to be a very special experience.
re: Let's be real honest herePhatMatt
Aug 20, 2002 2:12 PM
I just realized this as my job changed my schedule and I get to ride a little more, how ever the rides I miss the most are the ones around teh neighborhood with the wife.

Would you train more if you could?DCP
Aug 20, 2002 2:25 PM
At what point is it work?

Toys are toys. Stuff can't replace ability, either naturally occurring or earned through effort. We all know that. Don't we make fun of the overweight, never train, guy on the C-40?

That does not mean toys any less appealing, at least to me. They help stimulate interest and keep me going.
Time is something that I have.....DINOSAUR
Aug 20, 2002 2:52 PM
Tick, tick, tick the clock is ticking. I have nothing but time on my hands. I could realistically ride 60-70 miles per day, but I try to keep my miles down to a figure that keeps my cycling at a fun level. Too much riding makes it more like a job, instead of a passion. If I could put the clock back and come back to life as another person in another era, I'd love to be a pro. Riding as Fausto Coppi's right hand man.

Money is something I'm short on, living on a retirement check and taking a 25% cut in pay when I elected to throw in the towel 4 years ago.

But I am happy, I have my dream bike, the time to ride it and the time to work on it in my garage.

But I hear what you are saying, I ran out of time back in the early 90's and stopped cycling due to other committments. But life goes on, and on, and on. Tick, tick, tick, tick.........find a way...don't stop.......
Used to try to buy my way out; now I just ride when I cancory
Aug 20, 2002 2:53 PM
It helps that I've accepted that I'm not going to win the Tour, so it really doesn't matter much if I miss a day of training. As your kids get older, too (and as you do), you realize that your time with them is limited. If my daughter wants to make popcorn and watch a movie, and I think the movie's stupid and want to go ride, I watch the movie. And honestly, retirement is only 10 years or so away. $500 I spend on bike stuff now is, what, $1500 I won't have in my 401(k) when I need it? I have a decent bike that's comfortable and more than adequate for any purpose, and I'm learning to be happy with it.
Teach us how to turn $500 into $1500 in 10 yrs (nm)SantaCruz
Aug 20, 2002 4:38 PM
Time is all marketingmr_spin
Aug 20, 2002 2:53 PM
Uh oh! Rant coming....

There's plenty of time out there. The problem is that marketing has convinced us we don't have the time to do anything. No time to shop? Get Webvan. No time to wash your car? Hire a service to wash it in your parking lot at work. No time to cook? Buy pre-made meals. No time to watch your kids? Drop them off at day care.

The most idiotic product I've seen recently is pre-made cookie dough already layed out ON BAKING SHEETS!!! Unwrap it and stick it in the oven. In the commercial, the mom says "Now I can spend more time with my boys." Uh, hello? Why don't you spend time with your boys MAKING COOKIES FROM SCRATCH???? Teach them a skill. How to bake stuff. How much fun it is licking spoons and beaters. How great it is to create something with your own hands and then enjoy the satisfaction of eating it? If time is really important to this lady, why doesn't she buy cookies already cooked? Chips Ahoy!! She'll have an extra 20 minutes to spend with her boys instead of waiting for the oven to preheat and bake.

There's plenty of time out there. It's how we choose to use it that is important. Some people choose to work long hours and take work home on weekends. Presumably there is a backend coming in the future that makes it worth postponing life for a while.

I make no judgements here. Life is a lot more complex than I make it sound. Everyone has their own little issues. But I have gotten so sick of radio and print ads and TV commercials telling me how some product is going to save me time. Bull! I MAKE the time to do the things I want to do. I have to balance that with making a living. If I had kids, I would have to balance it further with raising them. This means that sometimes I can't do what I want to do with my time. That's life. Choices. Technology won't help.
Werd! (nm)PseuZQ
Aug 20, 2002 3:28 PM
Not me.MB1
Aug 20, 2002 3:47 PM
Sure me and Miss M are doing the mileage madness thing but I sure wouldn't riding a little less.

Say maybe just 12-15,000 miles a year or so would be about right. Yeah, and only 52 centuries a year too since I am dreaming and all.....
I'm with you on this, in fact, it looks like MY post! :-)rwbadley
Aug 20, 2002 4:30 PM
I'm Poor, can't afford the fancy stuff, so I just bust ass!!, when I train!!0_Kewl
Aug 20, 2002 4:37 PM
Thats fine but .......flying
Aug 20, 2002 5:12 PM
That is all fine & well but awhile back you posted a link to your page ;-)
You had more stuff than anyone I know ;-)
The stages of grief.Len J
Aug 20, 2002 5:41 PM

You still trying to come to terms with the new status as Daddy? Sounds like you are somewhere between negotiation & Acceptance.

You know you're doing the right thing and you also know that it's OK to feel like your losing something at the same time. Sometimes the things we choose result in us letting go of something we Love. In your case the riding has suffered, yea it sucks, but look what you got in return.

And yes, Time is the most expensive commodity on the planet. I wish I had the time I wasted chasing a career when my kids were young. It has taken me 15 years to try to make it up. But I know I'll never get it back.

Choose well.

Words of wisdom, LenTig
Aug 21, 2002 6:21 AM
Good stuff, Len. It reminds me of a quote that could be adapted towards time spent or lost with our children, especially when they are young. Heck, it applies to all time for that matter!

"Lose an hour in the morning and you'll spent all day trying to find it" (the best I can recall the quote).

If we lose precious time with our kids, we can never replace it or go back. Kids grow up so fast!

We all have to take enough time to enjoy where we are and what we have right now! This applies to everything, not only our kids (but they take priority). It has become all too common for us to waste time and emotion wanting what we don't have, or wanting to be somewhere else. By not living in the present and accepting our current circumstances, we are wasting time in the most severe way possible.

Now if only I could follow my own philosophy more!!! :o)
Yupbianchi boy
Aug 20, 2002 5:50 PM
The more time I have to ride, the less I drool over new frames and equipment. But the problem is that the more I ride, the more stuff wears out. So I end up having to buy things anyway -- like tires, cassettes, chains, shorts, etc.

It seems like many of the guys I know with the most expensive bikes are the ones who have the least time to ride, or don't ride as much for some reason or another. It doesn't bother me, though. If I had the money for a $5,000 bike, I would probably buy one. But I'm perfectly happy riding my less expensive but comfortable bike. If I had to choose between having the time to ride and keeping my current bike, or buying the bike of my dreams but having little time to ride, I would definitely keep what I've got.
Isn't life way too short to even question this?Lazywriter
Aug 20, 2002 6:06 PM
C'mon now, if you are willing to spend your hard earned cash on anything, what does it matter if you are "worthy" of the equipment. That really is the issue here. Whether you think the guy on a $5000 C40 is worthy of riding that bike from a skill or ability level. There is not one of you here that given unlimited funds wouldn't go out and buy the best bikes and fill your homes with them. I mean if you were worth millions and you are as obsessed with the sport as you all must be by being on this board constantly, you know you would buy the best.
If it makes you happy, it is all worth it and if you can afford to pay the bill, go for it and ride it with pride. Yeah, there will be some young or very strong rider who rides bike a fraction of the cost of mine who will take me to school, but that is not my objective nor do I train for racing. That same guy is just pissed off he isn't riding what you have because if someone handed them a C40 or a Vortex, they would be thrilled.
Excellent ResponseSimonRex
Aug 20, 2002 6:28 PM
Agree 100%. IMO, unless you get paid to ride/race a bike then opining on what someone else chooses to ride and how they do it is petty.
Unless? I'd say even if...Ray Sachs
Aug 21, 2002 5:53 AM
you get paid to ride/race a bike, opining on what someone else chooses to ride and how they do it is petty.

I'll take riding time over fancy gear any day. In my perfect world, I'd love to have both. In the real world, I have more gear than time. But I ride ALL of those bikes and love almost every ride I take.

re: Doug, this is easy......WCC
Aug 20, 2002 6:35 PM
My job prevents me from riding as much as I want. My job lets me buy alot of nice things for cycling.
re: my two centscyclejim
Aug 20, 2002 7:11 PM
If I take a honest look at my bike and gear, and take stock of my personal conditioning and skill as a rider, my equipment far exceeds my personal limitations. So, honestly I should focus much more on my physical abilities and skills until such point that they approach my gears level. THEN I should think about getting better stuff. Thing is, dang it I like stuff!...I like buying crap for bikes. But I always know in the back of my mind I can continue to improve for some time before my gear will EVER hold me back.
"All the gear but no idea!"Rich_Racer
Aug 21, 2002 2:21 AM
Only kidding!

I think it's about what makes you happy. I don't think it's as simple as how much time - people like buying expensive shiny things - especially if they make their cycling even more fun.

Commuting to work by bike is the best way to fit in a few extra miles. I ship lots of clotes to the office in the car at the beginning of the week then cycle the rest of the time. As long as the weather's good!



p.s. I have a 10 yr old steel Raleigh that weighs 35lbs. I want an expensive shiny new thing!! Anybody want to give me some cash!?
Not me.Leisure
Aug 21, 2002 12:59 AM
I mean, sure I would like more time to ride, especially this year. Most years I can just ride the way I want and let the conditioning take care of itself. This year and probably the next few I won't have that luxury. But I certainly don't buy equipment according to how much it will compensate for when my ability lags. My one year old steel frame weighs about four and a half pounds. My fork is heavy, too. But the bike has a wonderful feel in the curves and on the descents. That's what I prioritized on when I shopped for the thing. I'll spend extra money for each little bit of confidence here or comfort there. To me it's about enhancing the experience, not necessarily the performance.
re: Let's be real honest herethesleeper
Aug 21, 2002 3:18 AM
You're a sage, Doug.
my bikes and gear keep getting heavier. is this upgrading? nmJS Haiku Shop
Aug 21, 2002 4:32 AM
re: Musicians call it GAS...MichaelG
Aug 21, 2002 6:08 AM
Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

Since we can't all play like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, etc., we compensate by buying more gear--guitars, amps, effects, whatever is the latest and greatest (although vintage gear has a high "wow factor" as well). Typically, the term is used like this: "Man, I've got bad GAS for that new Wahoozit Gizbangie!"

A friend once described the Law of Guitars: You can never have too many guitars.

Corollary to the LoG: You can never pay too much for any one guitar.

I'm sure the same applies to bikes and cycling gear.
plenty of time, no extra moneyTig
Aug 21, 2002 6:37 AM
Being layed off in the worst job market since the Depression means I have plenty of time to ride and do other things. Strange, but I still don't ride more than I did when working! First, those "other things" keep coming along and sometimes take priority. I find it hard to justify riding (playing) while my wife is busting butt at work and I have things that need to be accomplished. She never applied guilt. That comes from within myself! Second, you can't imagine just how hot it really gets here. For example: the heat index today could reach as high as 112 degrees! Motivation is hard to find when your are frying like an egg on a skillet out on the road!

Not having money means I have to be happy with what I already have. This allows me to focus my enjoyment on the riding experience itself. I consider that a beautiful gift.

I'd love to upgrade components and wheels, but what I have works just fine and is durable. Granted, if I had a great income of won a lottery, I'd have a quiver of nice bikes! Would I enjoy riding more? Who knows? I'm sure the ego would at least be happier.
Hope things come together for you in the job market. :-)nmLeisure
Aug 21, 2002 9:33 PM
follow upDougSloan
Aug 21, 2002 6:50 AM
It's not so much that I feel like my ability does not justify my equipment; not that at all. In fact, at times, relatively infrequent and brief times, I actually can ride half decently. Plus, I just don't buy into that "worthy" sentiment.

Instead, this is more of a matter of chasing speed, but not being able to do it through sufficient training. So, we buy stuff, thinking it will make us faster.

Also, my job actually isn't the greatest factor. I work about 45-50 hours per week on average, not all that much for a lawyer or anyone for that matter. This is more of a personal situation, but I'd rather not get into all the details. Let's just say not everyone in the household likes to ride or appreciates lots of riding, sort of the opposite of MB1's situation.

I wrestle with the notion of giving it up entirely, or at least competitively, especially when near bonking on long training rides that I once flew through but are now real chores. Life would be so much simpler and easier. To avoid temptation, I'd sell off everything but one bike to use for recreation and minimal fitness. I'd stay the heck off this site, for it's as much an enabler as a bar to an alcoholic. I'm one of those people who just can't do anything a little, in moderation, or without competition. It's one of those personality defects that can be a great thing if utilized appropriately, or a disaster in some situations. "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing" is not just a motto, it's a personality trait. Of course, everything has a cost.

But then, I think that I'd go nuts giving it up. I dream of the day when my son might want to ride across the country with the old man (or something less whacky), and I'd like to be in a position to do it with him. While I'd never force the issue, of course, it's an opportunity that I never had and I'd like to provide for him. But then, he might just want to play chess and waste time on internet sites. Who knows?

I'm rambling. Hmm. I think the lottery is up to $85 million today.

Whatever you dograndemamou
Aug 21, 2002 7:26 AM
don't give it up. No matter how bad your fitness is now it will be much worse and more frustrating trying to start from zero.

My son was born in March and I too have been feeling the effects of less riding time. I know I can't be competitive so I just stopped trying to ride with the big dogs on group rides. They are doing twice the mileage I'm doing now. I just reassesed my goals. For the rest of the year it's just to keep riding now matter how slow or how little. Once I gave up my vain attempt to ride with the club racers I found it much more enjoyable.

There is no equipment being sold that would allow me to hang. So far now I'm just slowing down to smell the roses. It's funny the things I notice that I hadn't noticed before when I was anerobic and hurtin.
follow upqp-rider
Aug 21, 2002 9:06 AM
even though I've never been 'into it' to the degree you are, Doug, I find that a few 1 hour sessions during the week and a 3-4 hour one on the weekend stretches the SO's patience just a bit, especially with one son almost 7 and the other 2.5...

OTOH, my coworker did a ride across the US last summer with his wife and 16 year old daughter. They ride every weekend together on various centuries, etc. Amazing...not sure if I'll ever see that w/ my boys, but I'll hold out hope.

the lottery sign said $86 M this AM!!!
Just take it easy, Doug.Leisure
Aug 21, 2002 10:29 PM
You think I carry on about being mellower riders and keep using this handle to lull everyone into a false sense of security?
When I was a weightlifter I took myself pretty seriously. Even though my workouts weren't hugely strenuous I put a lot of thought into maximizing my performance and was proud of the gains I made. I spent several years benching about twice my bodyweight and was one of the best-looking and most intimidating guys at my college. Every time I went in and did my routine 300 pounds for 4-6 reps I would marvel at my accomplishments, and that kept me motivated.
Of course, things in life changed and it became harder to workout regularly. My strength dropped a little. Suddenly I was going in and doing 300 pounds for two reps. Every workout was a disappointment, and no matter how hard I told myself that I was still plenty strong and shouldn't worry about it I continued to feel discouraged. I was so used to enamoring myself in the glory of my accomplishments that as soon as things didn't quite meet my expectations, even by these small amounts, I fell apart. And even though in my mind I knew I needed to change how I thought about it, I wasn't sure how. Eventually I burned myself out thinking about it, and for the last few years I haven't been in a gym.
I didn't want cycling to end up the same way for me. So as soon as I began riding more seriously I emphasized focusing on the fun of the process, turning away from having overly-empirical or competition-minded goals. That way, the reward is in the doing. I'm no longer dependant on meeting some otherwise arbitrary criteria to feel validated in myself. Hopefully this way I'll never get burned-out on cycling, and even if I do one day taper off or even stop for a while, I won't be beating myself down as if I'm no longer adequate or that I somehow failed.
My thinking is you're in my old bind. You're not riding as long or as hard and now you're beating yourself down over it. Instead, just lighten up and don't worry about it. Go ahead and take every ride like it's a recovery ride and focus on smelling the flowers. Enjoy the corners more for the feel as opposed to how fast you're going. Spend more time catching the scenery. You talk about how this should be so hard for you to change, and I don't doubt you. But it's possible because I've done it. And if all that doesn't work and higher powers forbid you need to put cycling on hiatus to feel psychologically refreshed later, go for it and feel no guilt. But beating yourself down in your head (even quietly) won't make you work harder and longer when the real world says you don't have time right now.
I think I may resume maintainance weightlifting with a fresher and better mental approach. I realize I don't need to be that huge anymore - in fact I've continued to look pretty good despite not touching a weight in the last few years, and I guess that had been the original goal all along.
But first I need to buy myself a set of weights. No more gym-spa crap for me.
you used to call this the passion for cyclingET
Aug 21, 2002 6:54 AM
I called it childish greed and ego. Did your newborn change all this for you? Or is this a sort of you experienced it all kind of thing (C-40, Record, Ksyriums, etc.) and now you see the folly of your ways? Most important, what are you going to do when the next latest & greatest whatever-it-is comes out soon?
sleep deprivationDougSloan
Aug 21, 2002 7:03 AM
I'm probably just hallucinating from sleep deprivation. Besides, is "childish greed and ego" a bad thing? You seem to imply it is. Where would this country be without it?

greed and ego are fineET
Aug 21, 2002 7:18 AM
just not *childish* greed and ego. Greed and ego say you want a nice Italian bike. I have no problem with that. Childish greed and ego say you need what other malcontents declare to be the best Italian bike on the planet (as if it really matters, as you say), and when it's outdated next year, you need another one.

Regarding sleep depravation, if you have another child, it will be much easier the second time around. Did you ever give any thought to the au pair idea? If I were as into cycling as you are/were and had the means...
If we're going to 'be real honest here,' let's thenscottfree
Aug 21, 2002 7:15 AM
just say out loud instead of sideways what's really being discussed here: that Doug Sloan is one of those monkish types with clear vision of a Cross he wants to pursue, and family just plain interferes with that. He should have been purely monklike and never gotten married and had a family in the first place. But now he has, and he's stuck, he's struggling manfully to do the right thing, and as a good man he's conceding that wife and baby trump bike, but despite all noble intentions it's pissing him off.

I'm sure a lot of us, on a smaller scale, sympathize. Many of us, at times, resent when family interferes with bike. We hate to admit it, but it's sometimes true. Doug's story is our story writ large. And it's a cautionary tale we all can learn from.
I'm very thankful, actually.DougSloan
Aug 21, 2002 7:22 AM
What could be better than having to choose between everything you ever wanted in life? It's like life is a series of passions in conflict. Yes, we want it all. We just don't know what to do when we get it.

Many adjectives could describe the tone ofscottfree
Aug 21, 2002 7:34 AM
your posts in recent months, but 'thankful'would be far down the list (if it even popped up at all). I think the whole board knows you're basically just pissed. Don't get me wrong: I'm very sympathetic. But if you're going to get past this, you're going to have to acknowledge that you're pissed.
don't think soDougSloan
Aug 21, 2002 7:49 AM
I don't think "pissed" is the best way to describe it, unless I'm just pissed at times for having to choose. I'm certainly not pissed that I have a baby, wife, or good career. I think "bewildered" is probably more accurate.

I didn't intend this to become a self-indulgent public psychotherapy session. Thanks all for input, though. Sometimes it's helpful to know you're not the only one dealing with these things.

WE <i>can</i> have it all... just not all at once!Tig
Aug 21, 2002 7:41 AM
As your lil' one grows older and needs less attention, you'll be able to sneek in a few more hours on the bike.

At least you don't have to completely choose one over the other. Balance can be difficult to achieve, but it is do-able.
re: Let's be real honest herealiensporebomb
Aug 21, 2002 7:54 AM
I take what I can get.....when I got back into road riding
it was partially because it was a more efficient use of my


roadie = faster
faster = more distance
more distance = more miles
more miles = more biking satisfaction

When I was mountain biking most of the time, it was fun
but not as great a use of my time in some respects.
Aug 21, 2002 8:08 AM
to go on a road ride, I just hop on my bike and go. The only time I've ever driven to a road ride was for an organized century.

To go mtn biking, I pretty much have to drive to get to any decent trails. Well, I could probably ride to some, but I'd be beat by the time I got there :(
re: Let's be real honest herembologna
Aug 21, 2002 8:17 AM
Nope, the toys don't do it for me. I think there's something about knowing I'm in good shape and can do something that someone else can't (ride fast or long, run a marathon, etc) regardless of what equipment I have. 'Buying' my way to slightly faster times wouldn't have the same satisfaction I get from knowing I've put the effort into it.

Having said that, I would certainly like more time to train, but as many others have stated, it is the choice you make. I COULD train more, but something else would have to give. When I was a serious runner (70-90 miles per week), I did choose to put the running first, but I had to give up some of the other things that were important to me. At this point, I'm not willing to commit the time I would need at the expense of something else.

You're right about time though. And, it seems to get more expensive the older you get (and I'm not old)!

re: Let's be real honest herealiensporebomb
Aug 21, 2002 9:44 AM
I take what I can get.....when I got back into road riding
it was partially because it was a more efficient use of my


roadie = faster
faster = more distance
more distance = more miles
more miles = more biking satisfaction

When I was mountain biking most of the time, it was fun
but not as great a use of my time in some respects.
re: ... I buy speed...Akirasho
Aug 21, 2002 12:17 PM
...I'll never see the steps of the podium... but I have a blast participating... and the stuff keeps it interesting.

We abide.

Remain In Light.
neither time nor money..dotkaye
Aug 21, 2002 3:17 PM
I'd rather have the time to ride than the stuff, but currently have neither.. don't have time to train, nor the money to buy the schnickschnock to go faster. Agreed, the desire to go ride is often sublimated into a purchase, same thing happens with fly-fishing: buy a new line more as a locus for dreaming than an actual fishing tool..

Kids will definitely take care of all your surplus time and money..
neither time nor money..Cat 4 boy
Aug 23, 2002 7:18 AM
Kids will definitely take care of all your surplus time and money..

True, but as they grow you get all kinds of surprises; such as after driving with me up Mt Ventoux the day before I planned to ride it, my 14yr daughter amazed me by asking whether she could join me on her mt bike to do the last few kilometres!

First time she's ever shown any urge to ride a bike "for the hell of it"

As for my ride up the Ventoux...that's another v long & painful story, literally.