One more piece of velosophy occurred to me today, after that long list I posted last week. Like the others, this one is counter-intuitive and was only learned after time and tide washed away my preconceptions:
The weight of a bike has ZERO direct effect on the enjoyment of riding that bike.
You read that one right; zero.
My "road bike" today is something I would have scoffed at a few years ago, when I proudly called myself a "roadie," with all the sniffy connotations of that word. It's made from steel, the heaviest frame material around. It's got 28 mm tires. ("What!? That's extra rotational weight!" Yup.) As of this weekend, I've placed an oversized canvas saddlebag under the seat, and hooked up, relatively permanently, a lovely little handlebar bag to keep important items handy (more to come on both bags). Extra weight, extra weight, AND aerodynamic loss. Wow. What a Fred!
I may be a Fred and I may not be. But I went on a very hilly 64 mile ride yesterday with a friend (the longest of the season so far) and, whereas my friend often outdistances me on the hills, I was the sprightly one this time. With the extra weight and baggy-ness.
Why? Because I'm in shape.
And why is that?
Because I freakin' LOVE my bike and its setup. It works for everything I like to do on a bike, from fast and short road rides to long, mixed-surface rambles in the insanely hilly country.
So I've been spending more time on it.
So I'm more fit. With or without extra weight on the bike.
Your body's systems adapt to whatever load they are under. Take advantage of this fact and get the bike you'd feel most comfortable on, is most beautiful to you, carries what you need, and goes where you would really like to go, but haven't yet.
Who cares if you're first up the hill? The point is, you'll be freakin' happy!