I read something today from one of my favorite blogs, "Gnat Likes Bikes". It's a quote gathered on a self supported tour from one of the folks Gnat met.
"You drop a guy out in the wilderness naked with some basics to survive. If he walks out with a dead animal and some clothing, he's a hunter!"
You know, that got me to thinking. Are we really mountain bikers? Are we true off road cyclists? (Hint: Go read Gnat's post for his take on what hunting has become)
I'm left thinking about this dual suspension this and the 27 speed drivetrains. I'm thinking of the heart rate monitors, the GPS, the nutritional glop, and the latest lycra kit. I don't know about all this stuff. Is it really necessary? Does it make it too easy? Too safe?
I am not saying I have all the answers here, but I do know a few things. I love to just jump on a bike and ride it. Yes.......with no helmet, no riding shorts, and no extra gee gaws! Just me and a bike. I love that feeling. Of course, it isn't really cool to do that, but I'm just being honest here.
Another thing I know: I like my single speed with a rigid fork. It is harder, it hurts more, and it doesn't allow me to go super crazy fast over rough terrain. But I am okay with that. I like going a bit slower. Having to get off up a climb allows me to pay attention more to my surroundings. I listen and look. I like looking at the clean lines of a single speed. I like the simplicity of maintenance.
I know I like to ride in the woods with no heart rate monitor, no computer, and no "nutritional items". I like to just drink some water. I'll eat when I get home, ya know?
I don't have the answer to whether or not we make it too easy. I do enjoy a great FS bike, having no cramps, and a high quality chamois in my shorts. Being comfortable after hours of rough terrain, having my helmet, and a map. It's just that I think we are missing something, and Gnat's quote made me think about those things.
I'll have to go out for a ride and think that one over.