Cycling: What I Have Learned So Far

As I push ever farther into the world of cycling I have learned lots of fascinating things.  I have been thinking of getting a new bike, but with winter approaching (add as many Game of Thrones quotes as you want here) I am wondering if I should wait.  As a result of this indecision, I have been doing a lot of research.

Ø      Not far from where I live, there exists a 15 km or so (it is longer, but construction issues for bridges and such has blocked off part of the trail until next year).  I have ridden it a couple of times and it was amazing.  If you want to read about my ride and see some great pictures, please click on the link here: http://todaysperfectmoment.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/august-24-2014-the-nokiidaa-trail/

Ø      There are a huge number of bike shops in my area, and along my commute path, and near my work.  I had no idea cycling was so popular.  When I was young, only children rode bikes.  The upside of this is lots of places to shop.  The downside is that even places which sold reasonable bikes now have some higher end bikes, and prices seem quite high.  I mean, I have seen bikes which cost as much as my car did when I bought it new.

Ø      There are a lot of magazines devoted to the hobby/pursuit.  I have counted about 10, and I am sure there are more.  That’s incredible.  Whoever said the printing medium was done was obviously wrong.  Despite the complaints of these magazines just being glossy catalogues that push expensive and unnecessary products on the gullible, there is some decent writing between the pages.

Ø      There is a crapload of extras for the cycling crowd.  Is all of it necessary?  Of course not.  Is some of it vanity driven?  Absolutely.   Does it affect me….. sadly, I have to answer yes.

Ø      I like riding a bike much more than going to a gym.  Seems pretty obvious, but that is what fuels the decision to buy a nice bike.  Living in a climate which produces bone chilling cold and snow for a large part of the year doesn’t help.

Summing it all up.  I am definitely interested in this hobby.  Where I take it from here, only time will tell.
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RIP Television

 
Is television finished?  Of course it isn’t, but are we in the midst of its decline?

I was out riding my bike around today, trying to decided if I should buy a new TV.  I found a couple that I am interested in, and if I bought them today, I wouldn’t have to pay tax.  I couldn’t decide if I should spend 900 bucks on a new TV and sound equipment, or if I should save the money for the cool bike that I want to buy.  (feel free to comment–but I have about 1 hour to make this decision).

While riding I stopped to talk to a woman who was also riding, but taking a rest.  She mentioned that she loved watching Netflix on her laptop, and was planning on throwing out her TV.  I didn’t ask her if she would give it to me, but not that I think about it, maybe I should have.

The point being, I know a lot of people would rather pay a small fee and their internet provider rather than traditional cable.  If they had sports on Netflix, I am sure a lot of us would do the same.  If they make more TV series for Netflix only, would more people rather watch them?  I don’t have the answers to these questions–and I am still wrestling with the TV debate, but I guess only time will tell.   Maybe this is the beginning of the end of television as we know it.

Back in the Saddle Again

Okay, I succumbed to tool lust.  I bought the bike repair stand.  I admit it.  And yes, I have been to several bike shops.  I probably don’t need the big box of tools, because I have lots of other ones.

The good news is that I have so far resisted the urge to buy a new bike.  I used the bike stand to tune up my neglected bike.  So, I feel pretty good.

I even took the bike out today.  I realized three things. 

  1. I, in fact, do love riding.  It felt great to get the bike moving at a good speed.
  2. My cardio is terrible.  Despite losing some weight, I really need to up my cardiovascular training.  Fortunately, that was the reason for getting on the bike again in the first place.  Why go to the gym and get on an exercise bike when I can bike on an actual road.
  3. When you fall, or crash, it still hurts.  Yes, in my first bike ride in a couple of years, I had minor accident.  I was cutting through a catwalk that, rather than paved, consisted of rectangular concrete sidewalk patio stones (or something like that).  They had spread apart in the centre, leaving a gap just big enough for my front tire to find.  Escaping it resulted in a collision with a chain link fence, some scrapes, and a probable bruise.

On the plus side, I was rewarded with an encouraging number on the scale as well.