For my birthday, I'm giving a present to my motorcycle: new shoes.
It's time, and after a disconcertingly squirrelly jaunt down Squirrel Hollow Road*, the Mrs. has declared she's not getting on the back until I get this taken care of.
* real name
Now all that's left is to choose which tires to get. And this purchase decision has become something somewhat bigger:
A Critical Moment In The Definition Of My Very Character.
I hate when this happens.
You wouldn't think there'd be so much soul-searching involved in a simple trip to the bike shop, but it's serious business. "How much," you must ask yourself, and answer honestly, "do I *really* ride my motorcycle off-road?"
Am I a 50/50 street/dirt rider, or is the true proportion closer to 90/10? Clearly, I'm not running the Paris/Dakar rally (If so, I'd have a factory sponsorship and testes of titanium) but I'm no suburban Sunday driver, either. Right?
And while I hate the thought of overturning on some back trail due to insufficient traction, I'm equally apprehensive about posing through my daily commute with mighty-enduro-beast knobbies.
So you see my dilemma. And the respective forks in my path -- rugged unforgiving wilderness to the left, smooth, practical pavement to the right -- are once again reminding me of the nature of these Critical Moments.
It's really in the meaning of the word "pivotal," isn't it? To enter the future, you must reflect honestly on your past. But you also must bear in mind that your decision now will *affect* the future. Sit on this one moment, look both ways, and pivot.
I may be overthinking this.
But let's keep going. If I weigh all my previous actions and choices -- off-road excursions, aspirations, the nature of the bike I bought -- and conclude that I am indeed a Mighty Enduro Beast, then I'll get the knobbies.
If I decide instead that all this dirt talk is just so much wishful thinking, and that the smarter decision is to stick to more roadworthy rubber, I'll go with street tires.
But either way, my verdict will have consequences, because whichever kind of tires I get, I'll inevitably end up doing more of that kind of riding.
Nothing is a pure result; everything is also a cause. Every end is a beginning. And the tires roll ever onward.
To be continued, tomorrow.