The Rules (yes Kevin, I include your camelback). However, I'm also drawn to some of the views expressed by Grant Peterson in his little book "Just Ride", which are pretty much anti-bling. Something of an internal conflict for me that became external recently when I was planning a ride.
I took a few days off work this week because Annette, a very old friend from London, was visiting. She is an ultra-runner and puts my athletic endeavours to shame. She had brought some running gear and went out both mornings that she was here, spurring me on to get up and go for a ride on Wednesday morning. So on Tuesday I was planning the ride, thinking about the bike, shoes, GPS etc etc when it occurred to me that I could have just as much fun riding my commuter and not bothering with the bling. I had a short-ish, flat route in mind and was going solo so why not scale the bling back a bit?
So come Wednesday morning I got up (not too early), put on my oldest, most retro jersey and a pair of tennis shoes and headed out, expecting to cut my ride prep time in half. Unfortunately I'd forgotten that the commuter doesn't have a bottle rack (I use a fanny pack for bits and pieces when I commute and it has a bottle pocket), so I wasted about 20 minutes rigging one up - couldn't find the right Allen key, had to peel off some camo duct tape, yadda yadda yadda.
I finally got going on a beautiful, crisp morning and started to enjoy the ride. The commuter is pretty heavy (steel tubes) and the one gear it has is quite aggressive, but once you get it going it rolls pretty well. I rode Terry Hershey to George Bush and back, about a 36 mile run. Not too many other riders, lots of birds in George Bush (mostly boring but one grey heron in flight, a majestic sight) and a small deer. I passed a jolly group of three older Asian men on bikes and when I came back they had set up to fish in the creek.
Back in Terry Hershey and a crew had begun resurfacing the path, which is great but put me onto a muddy dirt track. The commuter has wider tires than the road bike but it's no off-roader and mud was flying in all directions as I slithered and slipped along.
I got home to find Annette had been out and was back, all showered up and drinking coffee with Susan. When we first met Annette and her family none of us were remotely athletic, now I'm a top fund-raiser and she can run 100 miles in 27 hours. I wonder how else we've changed?