Getting Real About Gear

I didn’t expect to be so heavily into neading to make gear and equipment decisions this early on. It’s beginning to feel like my wax rubbing Kickstarter. Never heard of that? It was going to be the small Kickstarter that showed I am earnest before branching out on bigger ones. Of all my many and various ideas, it might have been the most difficult to reward supporters, so it probably wasn’t the place to start. But the plus was that I learned a lot of what people learn on a first project, even though I never submitted it. I tried some experimental alternative products, read up on doing a successful Kickstarter, spent more money than I planned to ask for in the first place, then read something that advised to ask for enough money to be taken seriously. I could revisit and revise it sometime in the future, but I have a more timely and more important idea I think.

This video-riding project jumped to the forefront. I have an aversion to being on screen, especially if I have to talk. I like being behind the camera. I have things to say, but I have trouble bringing me along with all my ideas. Staying mostly in my comfort zone works for the project, but it’s a big challenge for the kickstarter video. I’m also really intimidated by the extraordinary level of talent and expertise in some of the Kickstarters. Finding where I fit among the likes of them is intimidating. But, then there’s the potato salad guy. Kudos to him BTW. Supporters had fun and everybody got what they expected, or more and some people got fed. I’m hoping there’s a place for me, for us, somewhere in the middle. I think we have a solid idea with a good purpose and I know we have strong commitment. It should be fun for supporters too.

My vision for this project was that, at its lowest level, a small Kickstarter would make a big difference to the base project, and it might even fund the ultimate goal. That’s still the hope, in part. But with the pandemic there have been so many changes. My MO for buying equipment has gone awry. I am the antithesis of an early adopter. Early adopters are great because they fund R&D, but I’m your original clearance section girl. I ride the bike that’s high on value per dollar. I don’t know what I would ride if money were no object, but I am comfortable not riding the bike that is the biggest target for someone to steal. If I have the latest anything, the store was going out of business, or it was one of those rare things that I wanted or needed enough to pay early adopter money. I was the first person among my user group to buy a particular model of Garmin once, and then took all the smart people who bought it next to be confirmation of the good choice. I can’t think of another time I spent new release money on anything. For this project, a Garmin that would do great elevations and has incident detection seems like it could be an important piece of technical and safety equipment. But, on the whole, I’m not looking for the cool factor. I used my last bike seat until the leather was streamering and the gel was oozing. Literally.

But, the age of our gear in miles caught us as unprepared as the pandemic and both have thrown a wrench in my normal purchasing habits. I just had a near overhaul and Russ is due for a complete overhaul. The crank has been damaged for some time, and he’s been putting it back together with Locktite every now and then for 2 or 3 years. He wasn’t riding so much and it stayed long enough for him to forget about it, so it was a real surprise when the pedal arm fell off mid-stroke. He took it to the shop where I’ve bought family bicycles for three generations. The repair estimate put the cost up around the range where you make the repair or replace decision, but the shop sold out big time when hitting the trails was the only pandemic possible cure for cabin fever. They didn’t have a new bike for his extra tall needs. Some shops said that extra-large was the frame size that was still around, but of course, they’re not more plentiful than they ever were. They’re just still around in some places for the same reason they were hard to find before. Not many people are 6″6″.

So, every gear decision is colored by what is available now at today’s prices.

It’s time to get funded so we can figure out what we have to work with.

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