|I was a bit concerned about the long slash in the box, but it turned out to be a needless worry - purely superficial as the contents were well secured and safe.|
This box was holding the contents of my seemingly squandered bicycle year. Oh sure, I have been on bikes, but this package is what I'd believed would arrive many months ago. It was the hope that there is a near-perfect road bike available for me out in the world. This freight that had arrived on such a perfectly beautiful autumn day was holding the answers, I hoped.
Not that I was putting any pressure on this bike at all.
Okay, really there was a huge burden being put on this bike and its maker, but I just couldn't seem to help myself. I kept reminding myself to slow down, take it easy and remember that it is after all just a bicycle.
Squeal! So excited!!! pic.twitter.com/d6BPwVIiN2I went on a hunt for my pedals, saddle, bar tape and handlebars - only half of which I found. After my searches were only partially fulfilled, I started annoying poor Sam at work, wondering what had become of the rest of my stuff. He assured me he'd hunt it all down when he got home, but I wanted to have it all waiting and ready to go.
— G.E. (@endlessvelolove) November 21, 2014
|The Golden stands (well, lays actually) guard over the Rodriguez|
It felt like a never-ending afternoon.
Eventually, he did make it home (I swear he took the long way just to torment me a few minutes longer) and assembly was fairly quick and painless as the bike had been shipped pretty much whole, with the exception of needing to put a few items together again. I must be the most impatient person on the planet though, as I hovered waiting for final assembly.
I share all of this primarily because as much as I am aware there are a few of you waiting for reports on the ride, I want you know to know that I share your excitement and anticipation - but this is not a post quite yet about the bicycle itself. Hopefully, knowing that my expectation is just as high as anyone else will help alleviate some of the waiting, and I appreciate patience as I give this bike a few trial runs (at least) before providing thoughts or impressions.
Instead, I am having a bit of a crisis when it comes to riding a bike in a more general sense.
In our household, we have had many conversations over the last several months regarding the ways riding a bike has changed our lives. For the most part, riding a bike has been extremely beneficial and the thought of suddenly not riding would likely be devastating to our overall well-being.
There is an exception to this, however. When it comes to using a GPS or tracking device, I seem to have lost my way in many respects, particularly in reference to distance rides. I have mentioned in the past that sometimes tracking my rides creates a weird situation in which I feel pressured to do things that I wouldn't normally. I find myself upset or struggling if speeds aren't what I thought they should have been or if the distance falls short of what I'd hoped to achieve.
The benefits of using a GPS device are many in my mind. I like to know how many miles are on my bikes for maintenance purposes. I also enjoy being able to see the distance covered (though I don't necessarily track every ride religiously) on a given bicycle or to see improvements in average speed. In addition, it's helpful to me to know feet climbed and other such information.
The problem with all of this information is that I can get too wrapped up in it and not just enjoy the ride. I accept that there are times when I simply want to push myself and other times when I just want to lollygag my way along a path, but the more I use a GPS, the fewer rides I take purely for enjoyment. In other words, finding the balance seems to have become quite a struggle.
Perhaps I am the only one who fights through this, but maybe someone has a suggestion as to how to find the balance once again? I find myself wanting to mentally return to my cruiser bicycle days and the enjoyment found when I had no idea how far I was going, nor how fast; but balancing that with the desire to improve myself, distances and climbing, I seem to be at odds with myself. While most people can probably easily find their way through this, I find that I tend to swing dramatically one way or the other instead of being able to enjoy both. If you've been able to strike a balance or have thoughts on how I might go about such a thing, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
In the meantime, I'm headed out on this windy day to get in a brief ride. Hopefully, I can stay upright long enough to make it at least a few miles.