One of the hardest parts of owning a truly stellar bike, other than coming up with the cash, is feeling worthy enough to ride it. Once many have acquired the bike of their dreams, I kid you not, it is exceptionally common to entertain the notion, even if just for a short time, the we are not badass enough to ride such a fantastic machine – we may even hear comments from others reinforcing the thought. This happened to more than a few of my friends and I wasn’t immune either…
To add to my consternation, a short while ago I watched a video created by a guy who proclaimed himself a bike guru of some sort while deriding anyone who spends more than $700 on a bike… I have more than 6 times that into just my “A” bike. I considered his advice for a minute (maybe less) before penning a blistering post taking his argument apart… Still, his video, in addition to my own ridiculous prejudice, culminated in an “aha” moment: Why should I care what someone else thinks about what I ride – and more so, why should I be so tough on myself for owning a nice bike? It’s just a bike.
I was caught up in the manufactured guilt of owning something nice. Whether it be reinforced by snide remarks about what someone else thinks my bike should be used for or made up in my own melon, the real problem I must address is how I feel about this silly problem. I didn’t even go all out, choosing to buy the best bike that I could afford to pay cash for rather than what I could afford to finance. In other words, every responsibility I had to my family (and Uncle Sam’s piggy bank) was fulfilled prior to my bike purchase… So why the guilt? I have no frickin’ idea, it’s not like I plunked down $18,0000 for an S-Works / McLaren Tarmac, right?
Of course not! On the other hand, what if I had? How about $32,000 on the 50th Anniversary BMC / Lamborghini collaboration? Goodness no.
Certainly the most expensive production road bike (not plated in gold or bespeckled with precious gems) would necessitate a fair amount of after-purchase guilt or criticism, no?
Talk about a great problem to have! For a recreational cyclist, this should be the litmus test for whether or not you’ve made it in life. Do you feel a little guilty, that you don’t quite measure up to the awesomeness of your bicycle? Bam! You’ve made it! Send $20 a month to St. Jude’s and call it good. I have since gotten over my guilt and come to fully enjoy my superbike. Look, in my limited knowledge of cash (and actually having some), I can’t possibly get to a place in my head where I’d want that $18,000 Tarmac shown above. I can’t imagine I’d ever need that 10-3/4 pound Trek Emonda for fifteen grand and I would have to kick my own ass just for thinking about plunking down more than $32,000 for that Lamborghini/BMC work of art – as beautiful as it is. The truth is, I’m just too practical for that. I have the perfect bike for me, one that I find cool looking and enjoyable to ride and one that I didn’t have to take a second mortgage out on my home to own. It’s also just enough bike to keep me honest. I ride the hell out of that bike, just as hard as I can and it keeps me fit and happy.
As for others and what they may say about your little slice of heaven on earth, a little bit of translation is required:
What you’ll hear is some variation of this: Damn, nice bike, too bad you aren’t fast enough for it.
Whether it be tongue in cheek, uttered by someone who is vastly faster than you (and has a lesser bike), that translates to this: Damn, I wish I could manage my life well enough to afford that bike.
Now, if that notion originates in your own melon and is simply reinforced by what you hear from others, pat yourself on the back six times and put in an extra 50 miles, eight weeks in a row as penance.
If nothing else, you should be a little faster.