Ok, post numero deux. If you read the first post and are now reading the second then, holy crap, I actually published this stuff.
I just spent a considerable amount of time (writing a post takes much longer than originally thought) laying out my fundamental approach to life. Now I’m gonna call myself out.
I have lots of stuff. I own a road bike, mountain bike, triathlon bike, folding bike, and vintage 3 speed bike. I also have a carbon wheelset and an aero helmet. I use a GPS watch and rock a full body wetsuit at triathlons. I used go through running shoes like frat boys guzzling Natty Ice.
Well, as many of us do, I went down the rabbit hole. I signed up for an Ironman and immediately started reading the ole reliable internet. “Theres no way I’m getting a triathlon bike” turned into a rampant search into the depths of the internets for the best bang for my buck I could get. Then I proudly brought home Trogdor the Burninator. Crisis averted. I was ready.
O NO! what good is a TT bike without fancy pants wheels…I’m such an idiot. So back to the internet. I bought them too.
CRAP! I have no chance unless I get an aero helmet. And so on.
I bought it all, albeit in an affordable (I use this term loosely because affordable and $2,000 carbon racing bike don’t exactly go hand in hand) way. I was a victim of marketing, message boards and gear snobs. Those darn gear snobs. They ruin everything.
I didn’t win the Ironman; nobody paid me a dime for ~300th place out of 2,000. I received a beer glass for a 10th place finish at a marathon. I paid for these results. Was it worth it?
The answer, as it is in every economics course I took, is it depends.
I am an Ironman, marathoner and Boston qualifier. You can never take any of that away from me. That’s awesome. So in that respect, YES, it was all worth it. Could I still have been an Ironman on a much cheaper bike? Probably. Sure, I could have finished a marathon without a GPS watch. But maybe the GPS enabled me to run more. It could have allowed me to explore new routes with the confidence that I knew how far I was from home. Maybe investing in a bike kept me honest, forcing me to ride knowing I had sunk so much cash into it. But in all honesty, I coulda probably bought less stuff. C’est la vie.
So whats this all about. I say you don’t need fancy stuff but yet I own some expensive stuff. I was different then. But I sure as heck ain’t giving this stuff back.
My best advice is to figure out your goals before buying gear. Add additional pieces organically as your needs grow and avoid buying everything at once. Buying too cheap can lead to buying twice. That’s no good. Buying too expensive and too much can make you look like a douche. That’s also no good. Somewhere between cheapo and douche is our sweet spot. Were gonna live there on this blog.
Ok, enough of the armchair philosophy. Onto some tangible stuff hippie.