Monday, October 11, 2010

Just Me, Karma, and a pumpkin donut...

Triathletes own lots of stuff.  This is a stuff intensive sport.  For running you need load of clothes, several pairs of shoes, glasses, water bottles, gels, drinks, body glide, etc.  For biking you need a billion difference pieces of gear.  Even for swimming you need goggles, a suit, and a wetsuit, maybe a waterproof swimp3 player, a pull buoy, maybe some fins...    The list goes on and on.  Getting all your stuff organized and to a race is a logistical nightmare to be honest.  So, in racing I have lots of stuff.  I only own one piece of equipment with a name though.  Let me introduce Karma...

This is Karma, my new Cervelo P3. 

Karma isn't like my running shoes, or my gps watch, or my swim goggles.  She isn't just gear.  The relationship between cyclist and bike is, in my opinion, a spiritual thing.  This is especially true for me, as I feel I owe my second chance at life to cycling to some degree.

Karma was built from the frame up, over the last several months, from hard won Ebay auctions and saved pennies.  Every piece of her was a hard won victory with a story, a reminder of the balance in life between optimal and affordable that those business types call Return On Investment, and a tribute to the road I've traveled and will continue to travel. 

So, by now you're asking, why Karma?  Isn't that a name better suited for poll dancers than speedy bikes?  I suppose that's true.  I thought long and hard about the name for my new bike.  It's an important decision after all, if what I say about the spirituality  of cycling equipment is in any way true.  So, then, why Karma?  To remind me that in triathlon as in life, you get out of it what you put in...more or less.

This last Sunday I had the opportunity to spend about two hours with Karma, riding to nowhere in particular, and in general enjoying fall.  Most of my training these days has a great deal of structure to it.  But not on Sunday.  We went to a gas station in a small town about 20 miles away.  I had some coffee and a delicious pumpkin donut.  There was no wind.  It was a fast, perfectly temperate, fall day.  I remember thinking to myself that if I couldn't run anymore, or swim, that would be ok.  If I never got the opportunity to bike again, that would be heart breaking.  While I do believe that you do more or less get out of life what you put in, on Sunday I got back quite a bit more.  A perfect fall day, a ride with a new friend, and a pumpkin donut...what else could you want?


  1. I was just wondering why all people were talking about pumpkin at the moment... when I realised that it's like Thanksgiving over there or something.
    Damn us Australians are sheltered, though I do love pumpkin!!

    My bike's name is Carly. She only cost me $300, but I put the time in to rebuild her.
    I think she's the one bike that will never leave my garage, no matter how many new ones I get (when I can afford them, of course!!)

  2. It certainly is nearing Thanksgiving, and Halloween. A day dedicated to candy, and another to eating turkey and potatoes... Two of my favorite days! And while I don't advocate eating pumpkin donuts regularly, they make pretty decent bike fuel from time to time!

    I will have to sell my first Triathlon bike (Vera) at some point. There just isn't room...and besides, they get jealous! I'll be sad to see her go though.

  3. Good story Mike. Enjoy her :)

  4. Oh, yeah, I meant Halloween, lol, not Thanksgiving. I get confused. We don't have either of those things, although, we are coming around to the halloween thing. Kids are anyway, the whole candy eating caper. Me, not so much.

    And of course I saw the race.
    Triathlon's not all that popular (as a general public kinda thing) here, so I had to watch the race on but the people that were at my place for another big car race (Typical Australian BBQ thing) thought I was a massive loser... but that's ok. I don't mind :)

  5. Oooh, (sorry for blog stalking) but I'm an engineer too!! Mechanical :)