This weekend, before Arizona and I took off for a mountain biking adventure, he raised the seat on my bike, Fang, by a quarter inch.
Now, I ride with my seat very low, preferring to keep my center of gravity close to the ground in the wake of a couple of gnarly crashes. But the low seat robs me of some leverage on the uphills, so we wanted to experiment. Arizona has a “dropper” seat post, which means that he can adjust its height on the fly using a handlebar-mounted switch. Although he has offered to get me one, I have enough trouble simultaneously working the gears and brakes that I invariably picture a James Bond-like ejection seat moment, likely with a thorn bush involved. So, a quarter inch it was.
That doesn’t sound like much, does it? But danged if I didn’t feel like a basketball player riding a giraffe whilst trying to play polo as I careened along the trail, totally discombobulated by the small change. It reminded me of each time Arizona has upgraded me to a new bike, or back when I was a kid and outgrew an old faithful and switched to my next Big Kid bike. Same with horses or saddles. Occasionally computers.
Each time, I’m all excited for the new-bigger-better version, and anticipate showing it off. But when I actually get on it for the first time, instead of the total pop-a-wheelie coolness I was picturing, I feel like I grew an inch overnight and have no clue where my appendages think they’re going. And I long for my old bike/pony/saddle/whatever, where I felt like I knew what I was doing.
I think that happens in other parts of life, too—with new jobs, new relationships, and definitely with new hobbies. The good news is that, just as I found by the end of our ride that I was climbing in a higher gear and starting to regain my balance, that anticipated pop-a-wheelie brilliance can show up after a bit of a burn-in period after an upgrade, whether it be a piece of equipment, a relationship, a job, or a new life direction.
What did/do you have a love-hate relationship with upgrading?