Monday, January 09, 2006

Inspiration: From A Bike?

I spend a fair bit of time, (too much, really!) on the forums on Once in awhile I'll come across a discussion that piques my interest. That happened yesterday. The basis for the thread was a question that was asked concerning whether or not you rode more when you bought a twentynine inch wheeled bike. That is to say, does the bike inspire you, or motivate you to ride more? Is that even possible?

Interesting, to be sure. I think that the answer is not so simple, but some others that posted on that thread thought differently. Some would say that the answer is a straight up no. That you either have desire, or not, and if the bike is a limiting factor, it has no effect on desire. It's then a question of something being wrong with the bike. Get the bike right, and then apply your desire to ride. Well, I guess that sounds a little too simplistic to me.

Here's my take: I think that the notion that you either have desire or not independant of any outside influences is dead wrong. Okay, I play guitar. It's a commonly accepted notion, at least with guitarists that I know, that a special guitar can make you want to play more than you would normally. I don't think it's a quantifiable thing. You can't put your finger on it. For instance, I have two Stratocasters and one of them I like more than the other even though they are virtually identical guitars. I will play the one more than the other because it does something for me, it inspires me, to go beyond what I would normally desire to do. I love the other guitar too. It's just that the one has something special that I can feel when I play it.

Now on to bikes. Does a bicycle have the same effect? I think that it can. I think that, for whatever reason, we as cyclists can also become enamoured of certain bikes which will motivate us. Motivate us to ride more than we would normally. I know that there have been times when I was enjoying the feeling of being on my bike so much that I kept going when perhaps I shouldn't have, and certainly more than I had originally desired to.

I'm not going to pretend that there are not practical differences between bikes that might cause you to lose your desire. Things like an ill fitting bike, saddle, or even the color of a bike can affect your desire to ride. Or should I say, cause you to not be able to implement your desire? It's a complicated issue.

Well, it may not make sense to you, but my opinion is that a bike can inspire you. It can get you to do things beyond what you had originally intended. Not because it has any power over you, but for that certain something that gets you to decide to push it a little harder. When you do, if you are rewarded, then that's where your desire is increased to do that again, the next time. Maybe not just any bike can do that................or can it?

I know that desire comes from within, but that doesn't mean that it can't be grown. What do you think?

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