Last week on Ragbrai, we were talking about the concept of “high maintenance” individuals. I proudly declared that I am not high maintenance. Everyone laughed. (…long deep sigh…)
I attempted to defend my status by stating that yes, indeed I require a lot of attention and focus, but … Ok, so a fellow rider said that when my bike tire went flat three times in an hour and the fact that my bike chain was completely dry, and I should have known how to both change my tires and lube my bike … this is an example of high maintenance*. (I waited by the side of the road for the Air Force biking crew - this is what they - the Air Force people do on Ragbrai, change tires. This is awesome.) He said that if I was going to have this as a hobby I should know this basic stuff. Yep, I do not disagree.
Everything in life is too easy now though. The bike shops depend on people like me. Folks have food kits with all the ingredients sent to their houses. Cars are so complicated it’s hard to even open the hood and know where to start. Every aspect from phones to cars to bikes to meals is catered to the “high maintenance” individual. Our need to “know” has diminished.
This doesn’t make it right though. Just because the easy path is available is not the reason to take it always. Would my life journey be enhanced by the ability to fix and maintain my bike whenever (I have anxiety now that I’ll get a flat out in the country) … definitely, yes. “High maintenance” is back seat driving - going along for the ride. It’s easy, nice, and doesn’t require involvement; however truly living life requires active participation.
*(I’m on the lookout for bike maintenance classes, fyi.)