After the 80 mile ride my back was a little stiff and throughout the ride I found myself wanting to be a little more bent over the handle bars. I knew the perfect solution would be a set of aero bars, but I began to feel conflicted.
For those of you who know me, you know I try to live a relatively simple life. I try not to weigh myself down with material items (Roxanne, my bike, is the biggest personal purchase I think I have ever made, and she was pretty cheap in comparison to other bikes) and if I do make any purchases, I usually do them second hand. But this fitness kick has started to awaken the consumer in me, and in doing so I have become very conflicted. The more I ride and run, the more I think about new fitness toys and upgrades. Not just aero bars either; to enrich my riding experience I would love to have a GPS computer for Roxanne. I also need a sleeveless jersey for those summer months, and a new helmet wouldn't be so bad. I am seriously considering a half marathon in August, and I am going to need a new pair of running shoes and a couple of running shirts before then (my old ones are getting kinda smelly). The Nike+ sports kit is pretty darn cool, and would be great motivation and tracking for my run progress, and so on and so on. I have hardly taken a breath and I just racked up a thousand dollars in fantasy purchases. You can see how these fantasies may conflict with my desire to keep things simple. Truth be told, these are simple sports that I am participating in, they should really not conflict with my core beliefs. In order to run all you really need is shoes, and some folks do even believe in that (check out Born to Run by Christopher McDougall); to ride a bike all one really needs is a bike. But somewhere along the line, the thought creeps in that these things will somehow make me a faster runner or a better cyclist; maybe they can keep me more motivated over a lifetime of fitness, and the conflict grows...
I have expressed the desire for some of these items to my wife, and she is a great sounding board for my distress, especially when she opens the checkbook and shows me how little money we have left until payday, but she is also very supportive. She found a couple of running shirts at a garage sale and pick them up for me. They don't fit perfectly, but they're great for training, and better yet, they were cheap. Then she dropped a bomb on me last night.
My wonderful wife went out and bought me a brand new set of Bontanger Race Lite Aero Bars.
Don't they look like they were made for Roxanne. Katie went to the shop, talked with the sales staff, and found me the perfect set of aero bars for my long ride this weekend. Can I pick 'em or what?! And that is not all. With the help of some really good friends, Katie made personalized running shirts for the whole family; they come with a new Racing Home logo and everything.
They are awesome!!!! Her friend Kathy, who is a graphic designer, designed a logo for the website (as soon as I can figure it out, I'll have it permanently posted on the header to the site), and our other friend Lydia has a sister that works for Custom Ink, so she got them printed up.
Father's Day came early at our house yesterday, and I cannot be more thankful for my wife, our children, and the wonderful friends that we have. Thank you to everyone that helped out, and a special thank you to my wife. I love you so very much. Thank you for the incredibly thoughtful gifts!