Thursday, January 7, 2010


there are times when restraint is a difficult thing to do, and there are times when it is impossible.

today, it was impossible.

now, i have often prided myself on being a bit of a miser. i didn't start enjoying the expenditure of money until well into my twenties, and even then, it was always better when it was for someone else. i believe that this miserly outlook was derived from goal-based seasonal occupation and the lack of employment during my school year. routinely, i played sports and chased girls and did projects during the school year, then left the country to go landscaping in virginia all summer. i would usually return with a few thousand dollars for tuition, or a bike that cost as much as i had earned. spending money in the meantime was only wasting the dollars and cents that could afford me bits of titanium and cool acronyms. this was not acceptable. i saved.

today, i got paid, and i got paid half of what i thought i was going to get paid, and i still went out and bought a fancy camera lens. the lens is not new. the lens is from craigslist. the lens cost less than a hundred dollars/a week of groceries/gas to my parents' house/1 item of bachelor party debauchery/30 pieces of special pepperoni slices at Papa Ceo's on spadina. however, i still bought the damn thing and here's why: 1) for those times that i actually manage to get the camera out before it has been 'tidied' away, i need a wider lens (my subjects are wide..i mean..nice) 2) i started looking and e-mailed a guy and it was in my neighborhood and 3) i hate being a non-committal schmuck who starts transactions and doesn't finish them. it being a craigslist thing, and me being self-conscious, i showed up somewhat on time and was very nice and agreeable and paid the asking price with no attempt whatsoever at last-minute bargaining (i really hate that) and then i left and tried not to slam any doors and wake the guy's kids. the lens is great. there will be shots from it on this blog soon. i did not save. i did not restrain. i went and bought a lens and now i have to use it. actually, i can't wait.

i also started looking at other bikes. the serotta will never get jealous, because it is a sublime wonder of a machine, aloof in its classic nature and perfectly secure in its time-steeped beauty. it is not a race machine. it is not made out of plastic (mostly). it is traditional and gorgeous. but today, i started coveting things. fast things. things still made out of metal but out of..aluminum. and not just aluminum, but fast, custom-extruded aluminum. i looked at cervelos. there. i said it. i looked at cervelos. whatever. i got my ass handed to me in the ride portion of a short duathlon in my hometown last summer by one of my good friends and his cervelo. jerk put 2 whole minutes into me and that, after he had swum 750 meters in a lake! (while he was swimming, i was tailing the world champion of duathlon in a 2km run so we were almost even. but not really. swimming is sooo much harder than running. especially when one doesn't float. and we don't.) i managed to put a minute into my other hometown buddy who was also doing the race, and he was on his carbon trek pilot 5.0, so it wasn't all a loss. however, i trained my ass off last summer, for riding (definitely not running), and to have 2 minutes put into me was just devastating. i did, and continue to, blame it on technology - the cervelo is a faster bike.

so, cramped up in our moldy house in cold-ass toronto and lusting for spring (approximately a gazillion months away), i couldn't help but covet things that would make me feel the opposite of cramped and asthmatic. i researched bikes. i priced out cervelos in my size. there are none in the realm of my budget ($-23, 567). i tried to figure out how i could be racier, by buying what. and then i remembered: i already bought a lens; i already have a really nice bike; i already have a commuter bike; i should get out and ride and run in spite of the winter; buying stuff will not make me faster, especially when it's months before i can even ride it on a road. 

here's to spinning in blundstones on platform pedals in the dark to pick up a camera lens instead of groceries, and having phil liggett narrate the 'pavĂ©' of east york toronto. 

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