Monday, October 19, 2009

Going All In

I think this is a guy thing. We are impulsive and at some point during the nurturing of any obsession, we go all in. It doesn’t matter what it is. Painting a couple rooms in the house? Not without a Wagner Power Painter, I’m not. I took Mary and Ian camping in April – Two nights at a car campground in the mountains. Though we really didn’t need to, Ian and I hit up REI the week before, convinced that car camping enjoyment is in direct proportion to the amount of gadgets that we brought along. Luckily they both liked the trip, so such purchases can be amortized over future expeditions. See how easy it is to rationalize this?

I’ve said before I’m lucky. We do OK. Can I afford this stuff? I guess pretty much I can. Should I buy this stuff? You could ask my wife, but you already know the answer. Though she did come around to the propane lantern on the second night of the camping trip. A life long obsession with Zombies has its side effects.

Suddenly in the last 6 months a whole new assortment of companies have come on my radar - Zoot, Desoto, 2XU, Newton, Tyr, and many others. That’s led to a whole new round of virtual window-shopping. And I’ve gone in and bought a few things as well. Some of it makes sense, even to my wife. She gets the wetsuit and the tri-top and the tri-shorts. But I have trouble explaining 5 pairs of swim goggles though, even to myself. And running shoes? Yeah I have a few pairs.

This of course, can backfire. I bought my bike in May. I went in with a formula that would consider fit vs. price and started trying out bikes. I went to a bunch of shops, and brought my wife along as well to make her part of the process. I felt that the smart move was a road bike. I found one for $700. I felt good about how it fit, and I felt good about the price.

But the road never ends. You start to look at new pedals. Those new pedals need new shoes. Then you look at the tires. Then you break some spokes and decide a wheel upgrade is the way to go. Then you want aerobars, but the current handlebars need to be replaced as well. To date I am probably another $1000 in. And it will most likely continue.

My AMEX bill came over the weekend. As usual, there where charges from the bike shop and REI. And then the strangest thing happened – my wife looked at me and said: “You should have bought a better bike, you know those ones with the high seats and the low handlebars”. Wow.

But would that have really made a difference?

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