I rekindled an old flame today. It has been at least a month (probably more) since I have ridden my road bike. Maybe its a good sign that I am finally growing out of that phase of life.
Or maybe I never will.
Despite the fact that my 2009 race calendar ran up a tally of 20+ mountain races, and only 5 on the road, yet I still own a nicer road bike than mountain bike is a sign that I am still clinging on to something.
Which brings us to our first item: A stupid zoobie.
As I was walking out of the PE building with my bike in tow, leaving for a late afternoon ride today, some kid behind me with absolutely zero preliminaries blurts out, "How much did you pay for your bike?"
(Side note: This actually happens all the time. People seem to know that road bikes tend to cost a touch more than the Huffys they rode as kids, and love to hear people say out loud how much they paid. Get a frickin hobby)
I was quite taken aback at first that a complete stranger would ask such a personal question. Was I asking him how old his mom was? Or how much his girlfriend weighed? (standing next to him)
Of course not. I may have my own quirks and quite often show an immense lack of social awareness, but good heavens, even I know where the line is that designates something as "too personal". Why don't you just ask me the size of my jock strap while your at it?
As I stared at the seemingly innocent youth, trying to determine if he was actually sincere, or just playing some kind of sick joke, he added "If you don't mind my asking"
Oh, sure. Just like how old ladies at church can get away with saying ANYTHING about ANYBODY as long as the offending comment is followed by the standard "bless his heart" disclaimer.
In this case the "if you don't mind" comment only solidified his stupidity and persistence. I stalled, stammered, stuttered, and stared back, not sure what to say. A million ideas ran through my head as to how I could respond.
I quickly began to add up all the parts and their respective costs, wondering if I could even come up with any kind of total monetary value. However, the first part I came to was to the saddle, the limited edition SLR. Sure it cost a couple of bucks, but take into account the hours of eBay searching, bidding, waiting, rebidding, stressing, losing, re-finding, bidding, stressing, and finally winning; there was no way I could put a monetary value on it.
And the list went on.
Each and every part was handpicked, scoped, weighed out, saved up for, reviewed, and installed by hand, by yours truly. (And just why don't I race road anymore?) The only thing original left on the bike was the frame, a few logo stickers on the frame, and the shifters.
After running through the options, I finally mumbled something about how the original retail value was something like such and such amount
"Wow" he mused. Yeah, wow is right, I thought to myself, I should have just bought the thing, left it stock, and dumped my money into a fat diamond ring, maybe I'd be married by now.
He then proceeded to tell me how expensive bicycles are, but that you can find really good used ones for $200.
I didn't dare say a word about my seatpost...