Get The Gear!

GTGWe moved this summer to a place where we can cycle year round. This was previously the stuff of fantasy due to -30C winters, so when we arrived here we were sorely lacking winter cycling accoutrements: high-visibility rain gear, headlamp and tail light, splash guards.

Cue another round of gear-buying…

Having had my come-to-Jesus (pronounced Hay-zeus) moment with consumerism, I now become irritated at the mere prospect of buying gear, and feel an acute nausea with each new item I purchase.

It wasn’t always that way. Gearing up used to be exciting. It was a sport unto itself, and we were just like the couple pictured above in the hilarious Portlandia episode. For any new activity, we’d go to the outdoor store and spend our hard-earned money on so-called must-have items, which we’d use for a while before moving on to the next great activity. The end result: lightly used climbing harnesses, six bicycles, four backpacks, three tents, light hiking boots, heavy hiking boots, winter hiking boots, downhill skis, cross-country skis, a snowboard. It’s a minor miracle we didn’t own three or four kayaks, some expensive fly-fishing equipment, and a small twin-engine airplane equipped with floats…you know, just in case.

Perhaps, like me, you see a little too much of yourself in the characters of the skit. We need to guard against that.

Let’s replace “Get the gear!” with “Do the math!”

★ Discover why you don’t need the gear. Pre-order the New Escapologist book today.


Lentus Ambulandus is New Escapologist's Chief Leisure Officer. He advocates doing the things worth doing (hiking, cycling, sipping coffee, reading books), and proudly accomplishes less in a month than most people do in a week. His creed is simple: Death Before Employment.

2 Responses to “Get The Gear!”

  1. bikevcar says:

    At least with the cycling, if you stick with it for long enough you do eventually start to save money from the petrol you’re not burning. But then you normally go and buy an even better and more expensive bike which you probably didn’t need

  2. Drew Gagne says:

    This is all true, my friend…I’ve finally reduced my personal bike inventory from three to one, selling both my mountain bike (which was never as much fun after the last big accident) and my “lightly used” touring bike. I opted instead for two sets of wheels for my road bike that I can switch on and off depending on conditions and intent, as well as a light duty cargo thing that attaches to my seat post, which, incidentally, can carry four bottles of wine.

    Thanks for the comment, and good work on bikevcar!

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