I have always thought it would be cool to have a mountain bike that out valued my car. A friend of mine, also a teacher, obsesses over fancy cars that he will likely never own. He subscribes to Car and Driver and keeps up on all the latest car reviews despite himself driving a green 94 Ford Thunderbird.
I drive a green 96 Chevy Cavalier the sister car to the Thunderbird. I am also a teacher but I obsesse over fancy bikes that I will likely never own. I subscribe to Mt. Bike Action and keep up on all the latest bike reviews despite myself riding a Schwinn (the equivalent of a 94 Thunderbird or 96 Cavalier.). Basically, my Schwinn is to a Cannondale as a Ford Thunderbird is to a Ferrari. Really we both live very similar lives or lack thereof. The only difference being the price of the fanciest of bikes would barely even rival a new Kia. Even though fancy bikes are only a fraction of the cost of fancy cars they are no easier to convince your wife you need one. My wife has been no exception to this rule.
Every year at tax return time we lobby for our items of choice. Any of the last 4 tax returns I easily could have convinced my wife to let me spend the entire thing on a new truck for myself. My wife sees vehicles as a necessity and therefore worthy of multiple full tax returns. At the same time she sees bikes as a recreation item and therefore not worthy of a fraction of a single tax return. Most guys would be more than stoked to get the OK for a new truck. The problem is vehicles just don’t interest me much. Mountain bikes do. A new truck wouldn’t bring me one tenth the joy that a new bike would for only a fraction of the cost. Sure my 96 cavalier with no AC is hot in the summer, it doesn’t have a radio, and is moderately embarrassing to offer others rides in, but it still gets me from point A to point B and does 80 on the freeway. What else do you really need? However when I bring up using some of the tax return on a bike Sara immediatley starts guilt tripping me about my many costly hobbies that are so much more expensive than the rest of the family’s hobbies combined. Then she’ll bring up that she wishes I would spend 5 or 10 times as much and get a new vehicle instead. This must be woman logic because it makes no sense to me.
Well, this year the trusty Schwinn was in worse shape than ever, frame cracking and a ‘parts needed’ list that was near the price it originally sold for. So I finally got the go ahead from our tax lady (Sara, she truly can do it all!) to start bike shopping.
I am not someone who makes big decisions easily. This was a big deal. I would be committing to ride this bike multiple times a week for years to come. I immersed myself in bike reviews often reading them until one or two in the morning. It quickly became an addiction. This was driving Sara crazy. In the long run this worked to my advantage. The longer it went on the more money Sara relinquished to my bike fund. My new bike that was supposed to be only a small step up from the Schwinn eventually grew into my dream bike, with Sara begging me to buy it just to end the whole process. However in the end my frugality wouldn’t let me and though I tried multiple times I just kept chickening out. This wasn’t however making Sara’s situation any more bearable. Apparently she isn’t as frugal as I am, because in wife super-hero fashion she bought me the Cannondale while I was at school one day, and at least until I beat it up a little bit, my bike currently out values my car.
In honor of my new bike, here is my list of the top ten reasons to be a Mt. Biker.
10) Cannondales are a lot cheaper than Ferraris.
9) Spend time in the great outdoors.
8) Easier on your joints than running.
7) Sneak up on wildlife.
(Usually a good thing, ask Beetle about the cougar at Bennie Creek)
6) By calling yourself a Mountain Biker you have a better chance of getting invited to compete at the X-games than Tiger Woods.
5) The more calories you burn the more calories you must consume.
4) You can only attain your Max Heart Rate when using your quadraceps.
3) When you get back in your car you feel like a race car driver.
2) No green’s fees.
And the #1 reason....
1) It makes me crave Twisted Sister more than Talk Radio.