Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dura-Ace Day Dreams and Indian-Dudes On Bikes

Todays post is sponsored in part by Lone Pine Coffee Roasters. Well... I paid for my coffee, but Ryan was really nice and I like their coffee a lot. Check out their link for more details. Work was incredibly slow today, so I spent a good part of my day learning about new cycling and camping equipment for 2011. I ran across this gem early this morning and have been thinking about it ever since:
Shimano Dura-Ace Track Gruppo 
Only about $1,000 worth.

Now I imagine that most people would look at this picture and yawn. At the least most people would have no clue what they are looking at. That's ok. Spending lots of money on these metal thingies is certainly unnecessary, but every fixie/track bike connoisseur would agree that this picture is sexy and desirable. That's why I was thinking about it all day. It's fast and it's shiny. 

A friend just got back from three or four months in India. Lots of people ride bikes in India.  There are lots of people in India. Lots of them ride bikes.

I can guarantee that the bike in this image did not cost anywhere near as much as the Dura-Ace Track group does. And this guy probably has gears! Anyway, I digress. The point that I'm trying to make is the folks in India are worried about eating and drinking clean water when I am day-dreaming about trinkets to make my bike faster, lighter and prettier. The money that I spend on those bike components could feed Indian-Dudes family for a year (just for perspective). So is it wrong for me to be interested in making unnecessary upgrades to my bike? 

I think that people think that riding my bike to work is a very unselfish, good for the planet, good for my health thing to do. Maybe that is partially true. The thing is, I know my heart well enough to know that the reason I ride my bike is not for the planet, it is not to help anyone, it's because I like riding my bike. I like the feeling that I get in my legs and the sense of pride that I exaggerated in a previous post. Riding my bike is selfish. Some would certainly argue this and maybe some have unselfish motives. Maybe someday I will be there. It's just like spending money to "pimp-my-ride," only instead of lift-kits, sub-woofers and custom exhaust, I'm dreaming of carbon fiber and polished steel. A tuned bike may cost less than a tuned automobile, but the motive is the same. 

There is no answer to the questioning tone of this post, nor does there need to be. We live a world apart from our Indian brothers and sisters. Most westerners don't envy them and they probably don't envy us. Sometimes I just wonder, what is the point of spending so much money on something that means so little?

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