I am not much of a weight weenie. That is to say, that when buying gear for my bicycles, weight is not a major player in the decision making process. It used to be, but it’s not anymore. I never really counted, or obsessed over grams or ounces, but if I could afford (which I very rarely could but made it happen anyway) to get the lighter piece of gear, I absolutely did…every time.
In the summer of 2014, I ended a long spell (6-7 years) of being off the bike and not regularly riding. I gained an incredible 60lbs in that time. I realized that now that I was carrying this extra 60lbs that the weight of anything on my bikes was the very last thing I need to worry about. Plus I have been out of the bike industry for some time and now have to pay retail so I really can’t afford to pay attention to the weight of my gear.
Ok, so almost a year has passed since I started riding regularly. I am down 30lbs and feeling surprisingly strong. I have purchased some frames to build into bikes within this last year and when I picked the brand of frame (Surly Bikes) I didn’t even ask or look at the specs to find out their weight. I found myself not caring. Hell, this wasn’t going to be a beauty pageant, I didn’t need to impress anyone, I sure as shit wasn’t racing, I was still overweight, I just wanted and needed to start riding again. That was it. It was actually quite refreshing. I chose the frames based solely on ride quality. Secondly I based it on durability, usability (now and in the future), cost and finally, aesthetics. I didn’t give a shit about the latest trends, what others were riding or what they might say about my ride. And I didn’t care about the weight of the frame.
Now when it came time to start hanging the bits and parts on the bike I was still only focusing on cost to durability ratio not how light or heavy a part was. When I could buy used and it made sense to, I would. This sometimes allowed me to afford the lighter, higher end components.
All my bikes are finished now and look beautiful. I love each one for what it offers me. And that can mean its appearance and ride quality but mostly it means the relationship I have with it while on it…the way it makes me feel. Honestly none of the plus or negatives of any of my rides have anything to do with weight, especially since I am carrying an extra 30lbs of fat with me when I go for a ride.
Funny thing is that I am happy with all of the components on all three of my bikes. Sure, there are a few things I would like to add, but for the most part they are perfect and exactly what I need them to be. They are freedom machines. They take me anywhere my legs can take me. It’s about the ride, after all. It’s about swinging a leg over and going just to be gone.
Going just to be gone.
No hype, no bad feelings, no gear envy, no hate, just love…the love of riding your bicycle. The love of your body getting you to your destination… Loving your machine for what it does for you… The love towards other cyclists of all levels…The love of other non-cycling trail users… The love of the outdoors…
Who has time to worry about the weight of your components? I don’t anymore. If you aren’t racing and your bike is operational, you shouldn’t either.
For me, it’s about love. For me, it’s a two wheel love affair.
2 thoughts on “Gear”
Always enjoy your writing. I had no idea you had spent that much time off the bike. My hat is off to you for loosing 30 lbs. and rediscovering the therapy that the bike brings .
LikeLiked by 1 person
I always new your lyrics were great, but I had no idea about this. Thank you for writing your blog and having the courage to share your story.
LikeLiked by 1 person