Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Laying Low

I kind of walked away from the computer for a while. I think at some point every IT professional cracks and has to take a step back. Some difficult projects at work really took a toll on me, and they definitely contributed to my overall computer fatigue.

I let the blog sit for a couple months, killed the Facebook account and deleted a number of e-mail and web accounts. It felt good and healthy to step back, and also to cover up my Internet tracks a bit.

I also started ridding myself of things I didn't need or want. I gave away a bunch of clothes, sold my CD collection, and put a lot of old bike parts on eBay. I feel lighter now.

On the bike front, I sold the Redline:

I also sold the Karate Monkey:

I bought the Karate Monkey in 2005, and it changed the way I rode. It blurred the line between road riding and mountain biking. A cyclocross bike does OK in the dirt, but bombing rough trails simply isn't possible. A 26-inch mountain bike always felt painfully slow on the road, but the 29er was a true mountain bike that actually rolled well on the road.  It extended my range and allowed me to link together long rides using asphalt, gravel and dirt roads, and singletrack trails. The Karate Monkey was a great all-around bike for me.

Unfortunately, I tend to go overboard when I find something I like. After buying the Karate Monkey I sold all the 26-inch bikes and all the parts—tires, tubes, wheels, rims, forks.  I filled the garage with 29ers because I felt they were superior in every way. Now, I'm not so sure.

One thing I can say for sure is my mountain biking has almost stopped at this point. I haven't been out for a ride in a year. It was last President's Day, as a matter of fact. This isn't to say I don't ride in the dirt; I still do, but only in short stretches as part of mostly asphalt rides. And it's never anything terribly technical.

Last spring I built a mountain bike for my dad. After I finished it, I rode it around the property for a couple days. It was light and quick and fun. I played around on it for hours before I took it up to Tahoe and gave it to my dad. What was so great about it? It was a mountain bike. A regular old hardtail mountain bike like I rode for many years before the 29er bug bit.

I think you can see where this is going . . .

I sold a couple 29ers, and I sold a bunch of parts. With that money I am starting a new project that I hope will rekindle my love of mountain biking and get me back out there. More to come.


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