Upgrade Fever

It took only a few minutes at the start line of my first bike race to get upgrade fever. To my right, a full Dura-Ace bike. To my left, a bike with wheels called “Zipp.” I took a mental note: “Figure out what that means and why everybody else is starting at them, too.”

Just a bit of research when I got home confirmed what I’d already come to believe: I had to get those parts, regardless of whether I really, truly needed them.

Similarly, it took my son just a few minutes at his first “race” this summer to realize he was on inferior equipment. For those who haven’t seen such a spectacle, most criteriums around here have a kids race, which means they line up the little buggers according to age and have them rip down the pavement for a couple hundred yards.

In his category, the “kids on balance bikes and training wheels” group, he was destroyed by the little monkeys who went flying down the road on their Striders. And despite the fact that my son is perfectly competent on his 12-inch bike with training wheels, he was very suddenly unimpressed with his ride.

The next day, he demanded I remove his training wheels. After a little session in time out, we went outside and gave it a shot without training wheels. It ended like I thought it would: he wanted the training wheels back on.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. He’s still talking about wanting a balance bike, and the last time he was in the store he took the opportunity to take one off the rack and show me he knew what to do with it.

I wasn’t convinced until he carved a corner around one of our product displays and kept right on rolling. He went home with that bike, and I imagine we’ll be getting our money’s worth over the next few weeks. I’d be willing to bet his training wheels aren’t long for this world.

And at the rate he’s growing, his little 12-inch bike might not last long, either. But as long as his next upgrade doesn’t include anything with “Dura-Ace” or “Zipp” in its name, we should be OK.

Now, about my bikes … .

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One Comment to “Upgrade Fever”

  1. [...] mentioned my son, who just turned 4, in this post earlier this summer. After seeing smaller kids go faster than him, he wanted an upgrade. [...]


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