A Meditation on Gear, In List Fashion

The equation biking + capitalism means that I ride, and I buy stuff for riding. I’ve even created a line item in our family budget for bike stuff. Mostly, I try and keep it within the dollar amounts that my wife spends on her: a. hair; b. clothing. I figure, that way, she can’t exclaim that I am wasting too much money on this frivolous avocation.

Boy, it adds up though. In a way, I miss those old days when I was a runner and all I needed was: 1. pair of flimsy running shorts, 2. running shoes. Simple. Clean. Unencumbered. Cheap.

Mountain biking requires gear. Or maybe the truth is this: Men, as they age, require more gear. (Is it because we fear death, as Olivia Dukakis said so well in Moonstruck? As if more gear will make us immortal?)

I suppose the following are true:

1. Men do fear death, and some gear does help allay that fear (helmet, gloves, good brakes, giant suspension systems, automatic seat post elevators, navigation systems, padded shorts to protect one’s taint, etc.).

2. Biking is a complex task, and the mere fact that a bike is involved means there will be gear involved, because things wear out, such as: chains, cassettes, seals, racks, tires, grips, locks, and such.

3. Gear is cool–and we are conditioned to believe that said gear is cool and very, very necessary. We need these things because: i. they help us ride better; ii. in capitalism, if you can sell desire, selling the product is so much simpler.

All that said, I really like my new socks, from Mountain Flyer Mag. I got them with a new two-year subscription.

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