“It matters little how much equipment we use; it matters much that we be masters of all we do use.”

-Sam Abell

I was a really good saleswoman. I probably still am. I was good, I knew I was good, and I liked it. And it was good preparation for my career in education.

“What?” you may ask, “does teaching have to do with sales?” Well I’ll tell you. If you’re a good sales person the job is really just to educate the customer on the options until they find the one that works best for them. It’s match-making, really. Plus I was energetic, smart, and educated on all of the options. But that’s another story.

My biggest failing, though, as a sales-person was this: I truly believe that performing anything well is 95% technique and only 5% equipment. That means with my 20+ years of experience playing the horn I have developed a solid enough technique that I can make the crappiest piece of crap horn sound pretty darn good. But it also meant that if I had a customer who lacked technique and was trying to make up for it by purchasing a better instrument, my sales suffered. I was usually able to hold my tongue, and not say, “Do you really think that $200 mouthpiece is going to make you sound good when you can’t even sound good on the $50 one?” Ha ha ha!

When I started mountain biking for realsies, nearly 2 years ago now, when I first moved to Grand Junction, I was happy to learn to ride the most technical trails on my “training wheels”- my 26″ Trek Alpha hardtail that Dennis had bought me for $200. I needed to develop solid technique before I could appreciate a full-suspension bike with bigger wheels.

Now I have that full-suspension 29er  bike. And upgraded shifters and breaks. And an squishier fork. And a dropper seat post. And today I tried out my new wider handlebars. And I can totally justify it because my technique is still only 95% of the experience-  but it’s solid enough that the 5% equipment actually makes a difference.

Today’s trail ride was experiencing the new bars. It was super fun. They are gold (aka: BLING!). When I rode up Pet-e-kes, Norm said they looked hot and they matched my eyes. How sweet, right? I’m not sure if I’ll keep them or if I’ll try something bigger- but either way I had a great time today. Even feeling like poop after exhausting myself on Charlie this week. Ugh.

This is my "I'm tired" face.

This is my “I’m tired” face.

Blingy bars and Norm the tree.

Blingy bars and Norm the tree.