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BigDL
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I was sitting in my home office on yet another video conference, using the time to straighten things out and to play with my cycling stuff, when it suddenly hit me. I've become one of them. What do I mean by them? Let me share an anecdote?

 

When we moved back to SA in 2013, I was (very happily) riding a £700 Voodoo Hardtail bike, with flat pedals that I bought myself as a birthday present for £20 in 2012, after the original pedals stopped working. I had a helmet that my mate had bought me for my birthday in 2009, to replace a many year old one that I had used up until then (I found it in the shed in a house we bought). I did use Strava, but only on my phone, when I remembered to start it. I had a pair of cycling shorts that I bought for £7.99 on special and wore them under Rugby shorts along with a t-shirt. I also had a very old road bike which I bought off a mate of mine, along with his retired road cycling shoes. For MTB I wore a pair of takkies that I had got for free as a promotion at the gym. I loved riding and was lucky enough to live close to BRB and Groenkloof, so was as happy as a pig in ****. If it was sunny, I used my old Oakleys that I kept in my car (my only sunglasses). I remember wandering around bike shops looking (never talking) and hearing guys talking about their latest accessory or essential bits and wondering what kind of idiots they were to spend that much money and focus for their hobby when they were probably never going to be more than average. 

 

I started entering MTB events for fun and got laughed at a few times at starts because of my tatty takkies, my rugby shorts and my complete lack of knowledge about brands and pedals and shoes and ****. I used to make a point of laughing back at those rare okes as I passed them during the race. I also started riding with a group of guys from my estate and eventually got persuaded to buy SPD's for my bike and shoes to go with them. Next was a full suspension mountain bike, but I was still very happy and rode well enough. That was the start of my change....

 

Long story short, I now have a full sus MTB and a full carbon road bike. Both have a powermeter added. I track my rides with one of my Garmins. I have a radar on my road bike FFS, I have 8 SEE.Sense smart lights and various other high end lights. I have Rudy Project glasses that cost a fortune and sort of seem to do the same thing as my old Oakleys. I have half a dozen Wahoo HRM straps (the most recent arrived today). I have a Kickr indoors. I chow gels when I ride, powders when I finish. I analyse every aspect of my rides. I pay a fortune to a coach to make me better (why, I have no clue as I am 47 years old and never going to get past the middle of any race), I stress if I miss a ride, I have a Whoop Strap that measures all sorts of stuff on one wrist and an Apple Watch on the other wrist that measures all the same stuff. I track my calories daily, I rarely have more than a couple of drinks, I plan holidays around cycling opportunities, I weigh myself every morning on a smart scale that tells me how much I weigh, how much my fat weighs (a lot) and all sorts of other ***. After a ride, I use Strava, Garmin Connect, Training Peaks, Veloviewer and Intervals.icu to analyse every aspect of it and beat myself up on where I should haver been better. I have three helmets to choose from, various summer and winter gloves, camelbaks, gels and powders, snacks and potions to keep me going and tons of other stuff as well. The thing is, I don't actually think that I am any better at riding than I was all those years ago and it certainly doesn't feel like just some fun any more with my mates. 

 

So, my question is, am I unique in this or is this a process (dare I say disease) that we all go through? Have I just become an obsessive knob or is this normal? 

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I was sitting in my home office on yet another video conference, using the time to straighten things out and to play with my cycling stuff, when it suddenly hit me. I've become one of them. What do I mean by them? Let me share an anecdote?

 

When we moved back to SA in 2013, I was (very happily) riding a £700 Voodoo Hardtail bike, with flat pedals that I bought myself as a birthday present for £20 in 2012, after the original pedals stopped working. I had a helmet that my mate had bought me for my birthday in 2009, to replace a many year old one that I had used up until then (I found it in the shed in a house we bought). I did use Strava, but only on my phone, when I remembered to start it. I had a pair of cycling shorts that I bought for £7.99 on special and wore them under Rugby shorts along with a t-shirt. I also had a very old road bike which I bought off a mate of mine, along with his retired road cycling shoes. For MTB I wore a pair of takkies that I had got for free as a promotion at the gym. I loved riding and was lucky enough to live close to BRB and Groenkloof, so was as happy as a pig in ****. If it was sunny, I used my old Oakleys that I kept in my car (my only sunglasses). I remember wandering around bike shops looking (never talking) and hearing guys talking about their latest accessory or essential bits and wondering what kind of idiots they were to spend that much money and focus for their hobby when they were probably never going to be more than average. 

 

I started entering MTB events for fun and got laughed at a few times at starts because of my tatty takkies, my rugby shorts and my complete lack of knowledge about brands and pedals and shoes and ****. I used to make a point of laughing back at those rare okes as I passed them during the race. I also started riding with a group of guys from my estate and eventually got persuaded to buy SPD's for my bike and shoes to go with them. Next was a full suspension mountain bike, but I was still very happy and rode well enough. That was the start of my change....

 

Long story short, I now have a full sus MTB and a full carbon road bike. Both have a powermeter added. I track my rides with one of my Garmins. I have a radar on my road bike FFS, I have 8 SEE.Sense smart lights and various other high end lights. I have Rudy Project glasses that cost a fortune and sort of seem to do the same thing as my old Oakleys. I have half a dozen Wahoo HRM straps (the most recent arrived today). I have a Kickr indoors. I chow gels when I ride, powders when I finish. I analyse every aspect of my rides. I pay a fortune to a coach to make me better (why, I have no clue as I am 47 years old and never going to get past the middle of any race), I stress if I miss a ride, I have a Whoop Strap that measures all sorts of stuff on one wrist and an Apple Watch on the other wrist that measures all the same stuff. I track my calories daily, I rarely have more than a couple of drinks, I plan holidays around cycling opportunities, I weigh myself every morning on a smart scale that tells me how much I weigh, how much my fat weighs (a lot) and all sorts of other ***. After a ride, I use Strava, Garmin Connect, Training Peaks, Veloviewer and Intervals.icu to analyse every aspect of it and beat myself up on where I should haver been better. I have three helmets to choose from, various summer and winter gloves, camelbaks, gels and powders, snacks and potions to keep me going and tons of other stuff as well. The thing is, I don't actually think that I am any better at riding than I was all those years ago and it certainly doesn't feel like just some fun any more with my mates. 

 

So, my question is, am I unique in this or is this a process (dare I say disease) that we all go through? Have I just become an obsessive knob or is this normal? 

Watch this video first... 

https://community.bikehub.co.za/topic/185550-work-stress-impact-on-cycling-performance/page-4?do=findComment&comment=3660247

 

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Ah man this me laugh and I can relate on so many level.

 

I also have every ride logged to Strava, garmin connect, training peaks for stupid reason, I have absolutely no idea what half the numbers and graphs mean but it makes me feel better knowing it’s there....I guess I’m expecting to one day have a lightbulb moment starting at one of them and work out why trying to drag my 100kg petite figure up a hill is going slowly.

 

And when friends are over that dont ride and see everything in what I call “the bike room” there is always that awkward question “what does this cost?”

 

I have given up trying to explain why it’s important to save 100g off a bike....while sipping beer and smashing my face into anther bag of chips

Edited by Markellis
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Great thread guys...it also has a LOT to do with our own internal competitiveness...

Have you on the odd occasion raced another car to the next intersection (ok. When you were younger).

Haven't you tried to prevent someone from overtaking you or tried to get there FIRST, on a number of occasions (ok, many occasions...)

Then you'll be pushed by your own ambition (whether realistic or NOT).

So what...it's cycling and we love it...so live it...(nothing further to say...)

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Great thread guys...it also has a LOT to do with our own internal competitiveness...

Have you on the odd occasion raced another car to the next intersection (ok. When you were younger).

Haven't you tried to prevent someone from overtaking you or tried to get there FIRST, on a number of occasions (ok, many occasions...)

Then you'll be pushed by your own ambition (whether realistic or NOT).

So what...it's cycling and we love it...so live it...(nothing further to say...)

You should see me at buffets at weddings....it’s pure competitive poetry I tell you!

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I'm with armpamdy, but I draw the line at singlespeed mtb and not fixie. A singlespeed mtb is like a bmx for grown-ups. You can pedal, brake, turn and jump.

 

Many many many years back, I was a young mtber that raced, I was half decent, good enough to be part of a team that sponsored entries and gear. I thought I arrived. And then we did that race from Knysna to Cape Town, and it humbled me. On day 1 I took off my HRM strap (this was when you went to the sports lab for power testing) and by day 2 I removed my speedometer (pre wireless) and just rode on how I felt. But surprisingly we did better when we stopped watching our speedometers. That started my ride what you enjoy philosophy. I realised that riding won't pay the bills, and focused on riding for fun and not for results.

Racing weekends made way for riding weekends with friends and family. Stage races became bikepacking trips and the light racy bikes became trail bikes. And when I got a fullsus my hardtail became a singlespeed. Nowadays I do ride with a GPS watch, but it's more for getting me home on time, and to keep a diary for suspension maintenance and I love maps with squiggly lines where I rode.

 

 

But if the gear and the analysis paralysis makes you happy, then why the hell not? You probably work very hard to afford all the gear, so why not use it for the enjoyment you get from it. Because at the end of the day, that is why we ride. For the enjoyment. And let's face it, lekker bikes ride lekkerder.

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Few things top the feeling of rocking up on a clunker, and kicking some expensive bike ass.

I think a lot of peeps gets caught up in the numbers and the gear. It does have the potential to kinda spoil riding.

Riding singlespeed sure does put you back in touch with a simpler time of riding. Make no mistake, there are some guys with eye wateringly expensive SS bikes.

 

it has a lot to do with personality, I married a coach, I should be performing a heluva lot better than cruising mid-pack, but the “have to train like this” or ride like that takes the spontaneity and fun out of it. The feeling of “ not doing a proper ride” unless it’s at least 50kms does not exist in my mind. 
Feeling guilty for missing a ride? No way. Maybe it’s the procrastinator in me talking.

 

Nothing wrong with you, BigD. It’s your money, have fun.

 

PS, I’m writing this from the comfort in my warm bed, in stead of using my small window of opportunity to freeze my nuts off during our allotted exercise time. Think I’ll make some bacon and eggs for brekkie, before I start working.

Edited by RocknRolla
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When we we kids we loved bikes - some of us never grew up and now we can buy our own

 

As long as you are riding it doesn’t matter what or how - latest gear, all the tech or a rusty old clunker - as long as it makes you happy and harms no one else

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