Laser Beam Focus, Chainsaw Intensity

I passed on an opportunity to upgrade bike frames.

In the aftermath of my recent tumble my rear dropout cracked, compromising the frame’s integrity. With the warranty option out of the question I am left with the option to upgrade, or to send the frame to a specialty shop and have the carbon fibers repaired.

The deal I got for the new frame is one of a kind. Better than any shop or employee at a bike shop could get. As much of an ‘investment’ I can attempt to justify this as, the part of me that speaks the loudest saw this type of materialism as too much. I surprised myself at this very decision. I am also surprised how soon it took me to come to such a decision. Working in the Emergency Medical field I have sharpened my decision making skills to counter-act my introverted character. Normally a decision of such magnitude would require nights to sleep on it, (although I’m not getting much sound sleep with both of my hips unable to receive more than the direct pressure that comes from wearing fitted clothes) have discussions amongst friends, then finally do some internalizing and decide what I really want to do.

The biggest reason I made this choice was from a view I have held ever since I first got this bike. It is out of character for me to blindly seek the latest and greatest materials in life year after year. I’ve never been good at keeping up with the Jones’ due to lack of interest. Too soon do I find myself reflecting back and asking why I am making this decision. Day after day goes by and the questions pile up more and more until I have no excuse to justify my reasoning in my head. Then comes the guilt and the feeling I imagine cattle feel when living side by side one another day after day, for the rest of their lives. No distinction between one another, no individuality, (but most importantly) no rational thoughts!

I hold a sentimental value to all big purchases I make. Mainly because these things be they big or small help me express myself in my own unique way. Why am I going to swap out a bike that I have spent so much time with and come to accept as another member of the family? Having a bike in limbo like this feels like a loved one has been hospitalized for an unknown amount of time. We all try our best to cope and move on with our lives, but deep down there is a growing sense of yearning for a speedy recovery. (On a side note, I got out of bed this afternoon with little to no aches and pains from a number of healing wounds on skin that is directly above constantly moving joints.) The progression to my own physical being has me wishing things could heal on my bike all the same. I use the term, ‘my’ bike instead of ‘the’ bike to show emphasis on how much this means to me. I want my bike to be back to normal. Not replaced by something that looks and performs just like it (probably better too.)

My road bike defines who I am as a person. Once you have made the purchase of a bike at such a high caliber, everything newer and more advanced than that is splitting hairs. The likes of which I have no energy for. I have never wished for a quicker recovery (both for my bike and I) as far back as I can remember. Going without puts your passion into perspective. Normal human beings who undergo a crash or an injury often times say to themselves, “I’m never doing that again.” Athletes are a different breed. It is because I cannot get cycling off my mind that I have been so patient and have decided to be the tough guy and ride through my injuries, prolonging the healing process. Having a little more free time than I already have has focused my goals for the upcoming season and my longer-term goals for cycling. It is the same feeling that comes after a long ride in which you pushed yourself harder than you believed you were able to go. You came out on top, and feel elated after having performed such a task. This precious feeling is the holy grail amongst all athletes. No ransom, no material good would come close to an equivalent exchange that athlete may consider. We cherish it and want nothing more in the world than to maintain that level of fitness and strength for as long as possible.

All of these thoughts have come from spending the past five days idle and without a road bike. Goals have been refined, and a new level on confidence and perspective has come to mind. This (time off the bike I am dubbing) ‘off-season’ has been most beneficial for my mind more than my body. I feel a laser beam of focus I will compliment with the chainsaw intensity the body can (and will) produce.

-dfj

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