For Christmas, I received an S&S hard case for transporting my coupled Surly Trucker Deluxe. Actually, the case didn’t arrive in time, so I received a borrowed case from my friends Adam and Jo-Ann, which I filled with my dismembered Trucker just in time for a trip to Hawaii.
Fortunately, I remember meeting Adam on a downtown street last summer and talking about the advantages of traveling with a bike equipped with S&S couplers. Because it’s easy to dodge the airlines’ unconscionably high fees for flying with a bike, as Adam pointed out, you can take a bike on a trip, and not feel terrible if you never get around to riding it.
Yeah, that’s what I’m getting to. My bike never left the case.
I had every intention of using it to get to the beach for snorkeling, leaving our rental car free for my family to drive for other activities. After all, I wasn’t going to Hawaii to ride. I was going so I could play in the ocean and generally thaw out for a week.
But the weather was hotter than I expected, and our condo was several miles up a long hill covered with lava, dead grass and a baking strip of asphalt with little to no shoulder. For a guy who is in slow-cruising, fat-bike mode this time of year, It just wasn’t very inviting. Long highway rides with all the triathletes training on the nearby Ironman bike course didn’t seem like fun, so I started doing the mental math. It didn’t add up.
Without the advantage of a repair stand, it would take about an hour to reassemble the bike – my large frame and super-long fork/steerer tube had required more disassembly than anticipated (the fork had to travel in a separate box) – and there was no convenient storage space for it once it was assembled. Sticking it in the living room was sure to cause problems. Dealing with all that for maybe a couple of quick rides? I just didn’t want to do it.
I’m sure I’ll take heat from a few friends for not riding in Hawaii, but on a vacation that’s not really about biking, I prefer to ride only if the benefits outweigh the hassle. And I don’t want to make myself ride just for the sake of riding. Bike exist to enhance our lives, not to encumber them.
If it ain’t fun, why bother?