OK, yesterday I spoke of inspiration; today is about rationalization. I wanted to say justification, but I really can’t in good conscience.
Digging through the archives of Bike Snob NYC, I came across a post in which he was talking about “Five Grounds for Immediate Equipment Reappropriation;” in other words, five indicators that you don’t belong on the bike you’re riding. The fourth criteria reads as follows:
You Don’t Meet the “Dollar-a-Mile” Qualification. We’ve all seen the “too much bike” phenomenon in action. You know, the guy who buys the absurdly expensive team replica bike and rides it around the park a few times a summer in sneakers. Sorry, this is not acceptable. I think a very fair and accommodating rule is that you must meet the “Dollar-a-Mile” qualification in order to keep possession of your bike. Example: let’s say you paid $5,000 for your bike. You should then be able to prove that you ride at least 5,000 miles a year—which isn’t all that much given the fact that $5,000 buys a pretty serious bike. 5,000 miles a year is less than 100 miles a week. I think that gives plenty of latitude. And you can buy as many other bikes as you want, without additional mileage requirements. The only requirement is that you must ride annually at least the number of miles appropriate for your most expensive bicycle. Simple! And if you don’t? Repo time.
This got me thinking: why not use the same logic in reverse in order to justify (uh, rationalize) the purchase of new gear and upgrades? Indeed, by my calculations, with over 2500 miles on the clock for the year, I’m running at less than fifty-cents-a-mile. (I purchased the bike in January of this year.) That should be grounds for a lot of shiny new bits.
Furthermore, I sold my truck, took on extra work at the college for an additional stipend, and I’m slated to a teach a one-credit overload in the spring, which come with a couple of extra ducats.Technically, none of that is really in the budget, right?
And then there’s the whole safety issue. I can’t risk being injured. “Won’t somebody please think of the children?!” When I’m on the road bike, I can’t help but to ride harder and longer (to say nothing of more often). It’s simply imperative, therefore, that the equipment be suitably matched to the conditions of its use.
Can anyone recommend additional reasons I might use to silence those voices in my head that keep telling me its better to leave money in the bank once it’s there, especially in times like these, because there are so many more important and necessary things to spend it on (or at least less expensive thrills)? Please?
You know what the problem really is, don’t you? My wife could buy like 10 or so pair of shoes for what an inexpensive set of new wheels cost. How’s that for rationalization?