One of the local bike shops loaned me a beautiful mountain bike to play with for a couple of days. Unfortunately, rain moved in and drenched the trails, leaving them too muddy to ride yesterday as well as today, so I didn't even get to try out the bike in a proper setting. And I have to return the bike tomorrow. Sad face.
Just to get some idea of how the bike feels, I took it across the street and rode up and over piles of rubber playground mulch the school district had dumped a couple of days ago. While not the same as riding trails, I had a bit of fun. I confirmed, too, what I had initially thought: I could really get into this mountain biking thing. The thrill (I know, that's probably overstating how much fun I was having) of feeling the bike maneuver up and over the piles just made me want to do it over and over. I was like the kid out having fun and being called to come inside by Mom because it was getting dark.
The problem I see with getting the mountain bike is spending even more time on a bike, be it the road bike or the mountain bike, and away from the family. When I brought the bike home, my kids just shook their heads. I encouraged them to admire the bike, but they simply replied that their mom is crazy. Lovely Beautiful Daughter went so far as to say the money I've put into biking would have gone a long way to buying her a car. Perhaps. My response to her was, "Get a job." Thankfully she's a good natured young lady and saw the humor in the situation.
Her response, though, made me pause. In addition to being away from the family more, I would also be using a chunk of money to further my happiness rather than helping my daughter. I'm torn. Maybe a middle ground can be reached? A less expensive mountain bike? Her getting a job? Each of us meeting halfway?