As most of you know from this blog, or from knowing me personally, I like to ride bikes. A lot. For long distances. With friends or on my own and in most any conditions. As of late, I have noticed a big change. This "as of late" that I speak of really refers to the entirety of the past 12 months or so.
The issue at hand is that I don't feel the drive and love of riding bikes as much as I used to, and I can't seem to fix it. It's not as if another hobby has consumed all my time or that I don't like to ride bikes. Every time I get on any bike, I find myself smiling, but I just can't get myself to go out and do it like I used to. I used to ride all the time in any weather on almost any terrain. Now, I find that have to force myself to go spin in the basement on my rusty trainer while watching a movie or something because I can't get motivated to even ride across the street to Spain park and goof off on the trails. My love of riding seems to have faded, and the true "jumping the shark" point was the Tour of Tuscaloosa. Since then, I haven't really been out with my friends riding on the roads. I have done very few loops around Oak Mountain on my beloved mountain bike. I haven't ridden more than (this is going to sound silly unless you know how much I used to ride) a thousand miles since the crash last April 1.
Now, about how materialism plays a part in this post. The question here is; can materialism serve to remedy this faded love of riding? I have had an off and on urge to purchase a new mountain bike, and I find myself trying to justify spending that money as a medium to inject some spark in my lack of riding. I look at my current mountain bike, which has been patiently sitting in my garage in a state of cleanliness than no mountain bike ever wishes to endure. I love the bike and it is absolutely a top end bike with loads of good stories and fun memories attached to it. Why the urge to replace it? If I got a new bike, would the old bike get relegated to the back of the garage to gather cobwebs instead of mud and good old trail dust and grime? I know that I have no urge to get rid of it, so that would most likely be it's fate.
When I objectively look at my thoughts of throwing money into a sport that I seem to be fading from, I feel pretty foolish. Materialism generally fixes nothing aside from things in the short term, and the short term impact is even more abbreviated when one already has one of the items being bought. The reason being is that everything gets old. Even if I bought a Ferrari and drove it a bunch, I would eventually find it was not as new and amazing and would begin to look to other cars. I guess I answered my own question. I should just ride my current bikes until they truly fall apart and then there would be some justification for upgrading or replacing a bike. Putting off this purchase also hedges against my declining drive to ride. I guess that until I can empirically show that I'm going to ride consistently again and have re-ignited the fire to compete in some fashion or another, why risk wasting money on a new bike.
I say all that when I look at this decision objectively. Oh, but a new 29r would be soooo sweet on the local trails...