As I mentioned on Monday, after a rigorous scientifical analysis I have determined that 20 miles is the perfect length for a bicycle ride. However, what I did not address is that life is never perfect; furthermore, the perfect can be the enemy of the good. Say, for example, you’d like to take a ride but you don’t have time to knock out a 20-miler. Rather than undertake some rushed or drastically truncated outing, you might then be tempted to say, “Ah, fuck it, I’ll just ride tomorrow.” This is a mistake. Riding a little bit is always better than not riding at all in that even the shortest spin pays dividends in terms of both mental and physical health, in the same way that saving even a tiny amount of money when you can will add up over time.*
As I’ve also mentioned previously, I’ve come to learn the value “going halfsies,” as I did this morning:
If 20 miles is the perfect length for a ride, then half that is the perfect compromise. Why is this? Well, it’s true for the same reason that half a sandwich makes for a perfect quick lunch when you’re on the go–while it may not be as filling, it still retains the pleasing proportions of the whole. Half of anything goes down fast and feels good while leaving you looking forward to more, whereas once you get past the halfway mark you start feeling cheated if you’re not able to finish.
Another advantage of the 10-miler is that you’re less inclined to rush through it and more inclined to poke around a little, which can help you find stuff that’s been hiding right under your proboscis. For example, since I’ve started “microdosing” my rides in this fashion I’ve found various bits of trail on which, if I squint, I can pretend I’m in fact somewhere rather bucolic. (See the above photo, strategically taken so as not to reveal the litter and various other signs of human habitation.) Remember when you were a kid and you’d just knock around the neighborhood? Well you were onto something and it’s important not to lose touch with that.
And of course when it comes to making the most of your rides you can save all sorts of time by not dealing with all the special clothes, which is why I’ve come to really value the concept of wearing the same pants for everything. So between that and the fact that it’s $yber $ale $eason I’ll remind you yet again that you can save lots of money on jeans and sundries over at Osloh:
Save even more by using the “BSNYCFANCYPANTS” discount code. Also, I’ve been wearing the Lane Jean both on and off the bike pretty much every day for like two weeks now and have no immediate plans of wearing anything else, so if this level of efficiency appeals to you they’re currently about the same price as a nice pair of tires is all I’m saying:
And of course you can score a pair of the women’s jeans for about the price of a single Pasela.
I’d also like to give honorable mention to the other clothing purveyors who have facilitated my recent transition to doing most of my riding in “normal”-looking clothes. One of those is Pearl Izumi, whose “BikeStyle” line in particular has been fantastic:
The other haberdasher is Vulpine, in whose merino finery I’ve regularly been swaddling myself every since they were gracious enough to send me some of it months ago.
I apologize for the incessant clothing detours, but as the years go by it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that the most important things in life are bicycles, the riding of them, and what you wear while doing so. (And family, good health, blah blah blah.) Oh, also we have this thing called an “economy,” and it’s taken me almost five decades to learn the importance of participating in it.
But more than that, I’ve learned that one of the best things about bikes is you can approach them any way you want, and you can also change that approach to suit the circumstances of your life. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with bikes is to think you’ve got them all figured out. If you’re really doing bikes right you’re always learning something new–even if that “something” is a boneheadedly simple concept like how to ride in regular clothes, which is my current area of remedial study. Even if you’ve been riding your whole life it’s important to feel like a total “noob” very once in awhile. And for every fancy new bikes out there we find ourselves coveting, there are a thousand old ones out there just waiting to be discovered. This brings you joy while saving you money, because after awhile you start looking at stuff like this…
…and thinking to yourself, “Who gives a shit?”
So with that I’ll just wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for reading, ride safe, and may your Horn of Plenty be disconcertingly full of seasonal produce:
*[Disclaimer: Do not take investment advice from this blog as doing so may lead you to financial ruin.]