Being somewhat of a closet snob, I love the vague language of being in the know.
"Did you see--"
And, of course, I love it even more when this top secret, exclusive language is used in the context of bikes and blogs. I'm not talking about my own...No, no, leave it to someone far more meticulous and clever.
I'm talking about Velodramatic. His cycling photography is a-maz-ing, but what unfailingly becomes the topic of discussion amongst readers [i.e., those clearly in the know about good style, taste, and photography] is the discovery of his "tab." A list of every bike-related
purchase investment he's made, complete with a grand tally, it displays what I normally would throw into the mental "ignore as much as possible" file cabinet. Obsessions can get out of control quite easily, and when paired with numbers and dollar signs, it's enough to make you consider trying to regain your sanity.
Of course, it doesn't work that way. Despite the shorter days [why is it getting dark at 7.30pm now?!] and the dwindling bank account, I made [what I believed would be] my final bike-related purchase for the next few months. And that was going to be it. I mean, other than a tube here and there and the odd bottle of lube, nothing substantial was going to be purchased. That was the promise.
But when I got my first ever pair of bike shorts a few days ago, it also opened a Pandora's box of "things I really need now that I have shorts." Because it feels like I'm finally making some leap; getting serious - for real this time - and committing to more hours and millions of miles on both of my bikes. No more of this "well, my saddle hurts" excuse. Pull on those black Lycra contraptions of diaper-esque proportions and get out and fucking ride.
And ride I did. This past weekend was bubbling over with bike rides - on the rollers and off. But that also had me discovering that those bike shorts weren't my final investment. Even with the shorts, the saddle on my Dolan still feels like a meat tenderizer, the cooler weather is oh-so-perfect for longer rides but also indicates a need for a new jersey, and eventually, arm warmers, leg warmers, gloves, and embrocation. And if I ever get to pushing hours on the rollers, another set of clipless pedals.
It adds up. Dizzyingly, in fact. And as the numbers
creep skyrocket, I'm almost tempted to look around for a less expensive hobby [although, it's really debatable if those really exist]. But it seems I'm in it for the long haul - for life, even - so it's really not worth sweating all those minor details. At least that's what I've been telling myself lately, anyway.
Besides, deep, deep, deep down inside, maybe I subconsciously knew purchasing those shorts would mean entry into the snobbier sub-world of cycling where t-shirts absolutely cannot be paired with cycling shorts if you want to be taken seriously. Where black shoes are only for domestiques, and kits should perfectly match your team-issue bike. Which, admittedly, means many more purchases await me under a heavy cloud of potential debt.
Yeah, thank God for debit cards.