Cyclists, I think, are by their very nature discontent people. Climb that hill faster than before? That’s great, but how much faster could I do it with a little more training? Win that race? Awesome! Could you have won it by an even bigger margin? (Yeah, yeah. I know about Anquetil’s famous quote. I don’t think most people buy into that philosophy.) Got some sweet gear on your bike? What could you still upgrade?
Surprisingly, I find myself in a place where I am immensely content.
This always comes to the fore when I ride my Kona Big Kahuna. Our bizarre winter has opened up the trails much earlier than usual and I’ve been able to ride the Tech Trails a lot. I love how efficiently the hardtail climbs and how it motors along the flat, buff singletrack. Descents could be better, but I think that will come with time. What always blows my mind is how well it handles our more technical trails. I really feel like I ride these trails as well with the Kona as I ever did with my full-suspension bike. In some places I’m still amazed at how well the 29″ wheels roll over rocks and roots and how they don’t get hung up anywhere. The only things I would want to change on the bike are so minor as to be almost insignificant. The Maxxis Aspen that is currently on the rear wheel isn’t really appropriate for the Spring conditions I’m riding in. The only other thing is the Kona lock-on grips. They don’t have any endcaps, so they are collecting dirt and scratching things (like the door in my basement where it lives). That’s it. Two minor things and I would be completely happy with that bike.
The Tricross is equally well-equipped. My only complaint is the brakes. They work, but are incredibly squealy. That’s cantilever brakes on a cyclocross fork for you. The upshot is that those brakes will go on the Dark Horse once it gets built up. I’ve been putting lots of road miles on that machine in the last few weeks and am still completely pleased with it.
I still have my Dark Horse in the basement waiting to be built up, as I mentioned. It will be an awesome commuter and occasional CX rig.
And I don’t really find myself with any huge desire to pick up another bike. Sure, a “real” road bike would be nice, especially something in the “endurance road” category. I’m sitting here with my Ibis Hakkalugi shirt on and would love to pick one of those up. But if neither of those happens (which is the likelihood), I’m really okay with that. And that’s just not a position I’ve been in before.
I’m also content with my training now. The early thaw got me on the road and trails a lot sooner and Strava is telling me I’m in pretty good shape already. Not mid-summer condition, but pretty good.
Feeling content feels good.