This past weekend was awesome for riding. We got 66 miles in on the road bikes and 11 on the mountain bikes with the kids visiting their grandparents for the weekend. They were some slow miles, but the wife and I did have a blast – and the weather was perfect. It wasn’t warm by any stretch, but we were able to put the toe covers, full finger gloves and the balaclava’s in the drawer. In fact, we even got to break a sweat yesterday which was way overdue.
Unfortunately we’re headed back to the freezer tonight. Three inches of snow in the forecast and one day of misery before the temps rebound again on Wednesday.
Saturday was Mrs. Bgddy’s longest ride to date and more than double her longest ride so far this season, we went 44 miles. Sunday was supposed to be a day off but with the temps hovering around 70 (F) we couldn’t pass up a quick ride around the block on the mountain bikes. Even though I had to spend Friday, Saturday and Sunday riding a lot slower than normal, being able to share that time with my wife outweighed my need for speed. Unfortunately, with snow on the ground and temps only slightly above freezing tomorrow, the club ride is out so I’ll have to try to horse those miles in between Wednesday and Friday – I’m sure the boys will be riding this weekend as the temps head back up to the 60’s.
On the bike/mechanical/shoe front, I’m finding myself in a rare position: I have nothing to work on – nothing to fix and no pressing issues with any of my bikes that would need addressing… and that means I don’t have a whole lot to write about. How rare, and nice it is to have this problem. Last week I wrote about a cleat alignment issue that cropped up with my new shoes. Two seasons ago, when I got my last pair of cycling shoes squared away, I had an alignment issue as well (left foot flared out) and I waited for several weeks and through a lot of pain before I finally took out my Allen wrenches and set my feet straight. Well, this time I waited all of two days and now that I have my feet lined up straight as I pedal, the numbness I was fighting ceased being an issue. The interesting thing that has me perplexed about this is that with the fitting I got (special blocks that have to rods sticking out, away from the bike, one isolates the pedal, the other the cleat/shoe meant specifically to align the cleats), when I went from the blocks to the pedals, my feet aren’t properly aligned. It certainly isn’t a big deal and I know how to rectify the problem (it takes all of five minutes), but the fact that my feet were off at all had me scratching my head. That said, the issue is dead now anyway. In short, all is well and I’m enjoying what will hopefully shape up to be a fantastic summer.
This is post is going to be a little bit out of the ordinary for me. I’ve been seeing a commercial pop up for some “online bank” that promises loans to people “when normal banks won’t give them money” or something to that effect – and it’s got me so pissed I can hardly contain myself. That online “bank” is selling misery to the dumbest and most desperate and it makes me sick.
Normal people don’t take loans for everyday life. Those who live strictly enough are actually accosted every time they walk into a bank to please, take some – and politely say thank you as we walk out of the bank without that loan after making our deposits.
Almost two decades ago now, my wife and I had several maxed out credit cards, car loans and a mortgage. Then we moved out into the country from the city and added a bigger mortgage and a second mortgage so we could afford the down payment (they don’t allow this anymore). We were in debt up to our ears – and paying interest on all of it. To put it simply, my wife and I made a trade. We chose to pay 1-1/4 to 2 times what something cost, so we could have it right now. We started talking about one of the rent to own places for a new TV – and that’s when we realized we were in a lot of trouble.
We made a decision to stop the madness rather than continue to trade away our future happiness on interest. We sacrificed: No new toys – we barely went out to dinner, no toys, no extravagant foods – folks we were only slightly better than beans an weenies for two years – and we paid that debt off to a point where we have only our mortgages left(and we’re almost set to pay the second one-off, we just have to get with the bank and write the check).
I won’t go into a big “hey, look how cool we are because we can afford stuff now” deal because the way my wife and I choose to live isn’t exactly what you call “fun”. We both have paid off older vehicles (that run fine but are showing their years now) and we don’t have a big, fancy house. In other words, we don’t keep up with the Jones’s (unless you count the bikes – then we kick the Jones’s butts). If we don’t keep our eyes on the prize it’s easy to lose sight of the reason we choose this, call it humble, existence. The prize is this: While we don’t measure up with others who make about the same amount as we do on the outside, when we want to have our home resided (which should start in the next week or so), all we have to do is write the check. Or better, say we have a problem – we have a plumbing problem or something… We can simply get it fixed.
To make a long story short, we don’t need a loan and while others scramble around to find the cash for the necessities, we can sit back knowing we’ll be okay.
I suppose my main point is this: If you need that high-interest loan because a “normal bank won’t give you money”, it might be time to consider that you might have a bigger problem – and ask yourself this: Are you really willing to pay double for what it is you want, today?
We did, and came to the right conclusion: That’s nuts!