I've been getting my Pugsley ready for its first full winter, which really just means I installed a new handlebar and put some air in the tires. I did, however, need a better light for nocturnal trail rides, and about 10 days ago I found a killer deal.
Is there anything better than finding insane deals on bike stuff?
Of course not. It was a rhetorical question. If you found yourself answering with anything not along the lines of, "Oh hell no!" go stab your own knee with a fork.
Anyway, I was walking through the local REI store checking out the big fall sale when I looked in the glass case full of fancy bike lights and saw last year's NightRider MiNewt on sale. It's being replaced by a second-generation light, but the first version is still ... well, light years ahead of all my old stuff. By the time they applied the 20-percent discount offered to members on a single item, I was snatching last year's $160 light for about 85 bucks.
This happened only a couple of days after I had ridden Johnson Pass and found myself longing for a Camelbak large enough to carry more food. My M.U.L.E. just couldn't carry as many calories—or as much water—as John's H.A.W.G.
This left me wondering two things: 1) Should I blow a hundred bucks on another Camelbak, and 2) what the hell do the acronyms M.U.L.E. and H.A.W.G. stand for?
Whatever. My wife and I walked out of REI that day with my new light, and then she wanted to step into a nearby outdoor-clothing store that I rarely enter. Right away, a guy walks up, hands us each a coupon and says it's worth 50 percent of any single item the following weekend. We started looking around, and sure enough, they had two big-ass Camelbaks with nebulous acronyms.
So last Saturday, I was there with a coupon in my hand when they opened the door at 10 a.m., and five minutes later I was walking out with a H.A.W.G. that cost only 50 bucks.
I almost felt like I was shoplifting. It was a disturbingly good feeling.