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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘delayed gratification

Bike Ruminations

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You all know how much I like making decisions. I have a touring bike that has served me just fine for the last couple of decades, my trusty Trek 520. One reason I’ve had it this long is that replacing it would require deciding what else to get. Another reason is that I don’t like to spend money if I don’t need to.

My trusty Trek 520 circa 2008.

My 520 still works just fine, seeing as how I’ve upgraded the drivetrain components and replaced wheels through the years. However, my body isn’t working as well as it did when I first purchased that ride oh so long ago and today’s cycles now offer motorized assistance to offset shortcomings in leg strength and stamina.

I am seriously tempted. So tempted, I’ve been doing some shopping this week. It’s been both inspiring and disheartening.

First, let’s get this out of the way. Prices! Oh. My. Gosh. I think they should offer loan programs like auto dealerships do.

That said, I have saved up for this luxury, so I could feasibly buy at almost any price right now if it wasn’t for my being so spending-averse. I refuse to spend five digits for a two-wheeler, even if it includes electronic pedal assist.

Given all that, I was able to narrow my choices to a really snazzy Trek Domane+ that I feel would suit me just fine. The thing is, that model, in my frame size, is non-existent until longer than I want to wait. Factory lead time right now is about 8 and a half months, and given the state of supply chain issues of late, I don’t have any confidence that the length of time won’t almost double.

I wonder how many Shimano components are stuck on ocean liners waiting in lines at ports right now.

There is an alternative to waiting for my preferred choice. I could consider a model that is more readily available. The Allant+ looks less like my road bike and more like my mountain bike. My initial reaction is that I wouldn’t be as comfortable on it riding for hours on end, but then the addition of a motor helping turn the crank makes it hard to judge how I will actually feel by the end of a long day.







I would add bar ends to provide alternate hand positions. The Allant includes a headlight and taillight. The Allant model I would choose is $250 cheaper than my Domane selection and has more oomph from its battery/motor combination. The power assists are from different manufacturers: Bosch vs. Fazua. However, the Allant’s increased power components contribute to the bike being twenty pounds heavier than the Domane. In addition, I do have a psychological hangup about wanting to ride 700c wheels on the road. I’m guessing I wouldn’t notice the difference of the only slightly smaller wheels on the Allant.

Did you follow all that?

TL;DR is that it is not a straightforward choice of pros and cons between what I want and what is actually available near term.

Decisions, decisions.

I am thoroughly seated on the fence and ruminating, enjoying not spending a penny on a new bike until a decision is finally made.

Of course, I could still choose to ride my 520 for another year and accept the delayed gratification if I order my preferred Domane+…



Future Me

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I recently saw a news article on the topic of “health span” as compared to life span. If people live longer but haven’t taken care of their health, the golden years can be fraught with ailments instead of desired retiree pursuits. It gave me a new appreciation for how many of my present moment decisions are made with “future me” in mind.

Planting trees is a primary exercise in doing something for “future me.” Sometimes, it’s even more for generations that will be around after I’m gone. I like to point out the giant maple trees near our labyrinth with an invitation to imagine what it will look like in a hundred years when the fingerling we transplanted from beneath them has matured in the center of the labyrinth.

We could all do better by making more decisions each day with our future selves in mind.

Even when it comes to the water we drink toward healthy hydration each day, what we are doing in the moment actually pays dividends tomorrow. There is a time element to how our cells absorb, so to be at our peak tomorrow, we need to drink enough water today.

The planking and stretching exercises I do in the morning are a routine I adopted to strengthen my core for next year and beyond. A little workout at a time for a future me in ten years.

Scrubbing my mental health to purge negative thought patterns and replacing them with positive messages as a daily practice is absolutely a gift to future me. I have witnessed more than enough people who seemed to grow gloomier with each year that passes to inspire my goal of achieving the opposite.

With these life practices, I’m hoping “future me” will be happier and healthier than present-day me. I would be very satisfied if my health span and life span came out as close to even as possible.

Wouldn’t everyone?

I recommend allowing our future selves to guide all our daily decisions instead of just relying on the possibility of luck to bring us happy endings.



Barely Asparagus

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The comical story of our on-again/off-again thoughts of growing our own asparagus is becoming a legend. The idea was initially tossed out in the early days after we moved to this 20-acre plot in the country. I didn’t know anything about growing the delicious sprouts, so it was a surprise to learn it takes years to produce edible results.

For some silly reason of human nature, three years was enough to discourage us from bothering to act on the idea. Time being relative, the three long years we envisioned when originally considering growing asparagus seemed to pass surprisingly quickly.

I remember commenting that, had we just planted some when the thought first occurred to us years ago, we’d probably be harvesting already. Still, that didn’t trigger us to act, for some reason.

Then a wise friend mentioned that there were other options to planting it by seed. Why not buy a two-year-old plant and put that in the ground? Hmm. Why not?

So, we did.

It’s been a couple of years now, I think. We let it grow into ferns for a year. I have a terrible habit of forgetting about it until the sprouts are unrecognizable as the vegetable that I love to eat.

But, not this year. I spotted a couple of sprouts when I was mowing the lawn and remembered to suggest Cyndie cut them before they blossom into a fern again.

This was the entirety of our first harvest of the season:

It wasn’t much, but Cyndie made good use of just enough to accent our breakfast of home-laid eggs yesterday.

Of course, there is an obvious moral to the story. Just because some results take time, don’t wait to start.

Delayed gratification can be so much sweeter to appreciate.



Written by johnwhays

May 19, 2019 at 9:43 am