Eighteen years ago, when I was still living on the West Coast I was involved in working with a lab that was creating a drug to fight Wet Macular Degeneration. I was the guy showing them how to set up a vital piece of lab test equipment called a microfluidizing homogenizer. From start to finish and by finish I mean a drug going to market, the whole process took about four years. My last involvement with the project other than the odd service call was to write up the servicing portion of their FDA submission. I was told that sixty liters of processed product was equal to one million USD. I’ve no idea how many doses 60 Liters represented but it always made me ask the question, “How much is your sight worth?”
Lucky for the majority of Canadians, our healthcare system keeps the bulk of these types of costs down for us. I’m a type 2 Diabetic and the drugs I use to treat my condition are covered fully by my health insurance and by my extended insurance from work. Right now because I’m still new to living with Diabetes I’m trying to find the right balance to live a decent life. My doctor who is a no bullshit woman (and I like that) wasn’t very happy with my last fasting Glucose numbers to put it mildly and she read me the riot act about getting regular exercise.
Now for me, the idea of joining a Gym isn’t appealing but I happen to live very close to my day job (4.4km). Google maps showed me there is a bike path and bike lane that literally take me almost to the front door of my building.
I’d been toying with the idea of buying a bike for a while. My daughter’s friend Cara who is really more of a member of the family is heavily into bikes so I’d been seeking her advice. I’ll be honest, the sticker shock is what held me off the first time. Usually for some of those prices, I’d want the motor to go with the frame. Still, with my Doctor’s rebuke still ringing in my ears I settled in to do real research. The bike style I finally decided on was a Hybrid Mountain Bike. I fully realize I’m currently in no sort of shape to tackle real human powered off road riding but a gravel path or two could certainly be in my future. Plus seeing as my main two wheeled ride is a V-Strom and I’ve ridden Enduro style motorcycles for most of my adult life, it was sort of a done deal as far as what sort of style I’d be settling on.
Last Saturday, I took myself over to Gears Bike Shop in Oakville to look at some bikes in the flesh. Friendly and knowledgeable staff walked me through what choices they had on tap for me to purchase. I even took a bike out into the parking lot for a spin and almost got hit by a cab (what is it with those guys?). The ride was a real experience as I hadn’t been on a bike in over thirty years. To say the fit, finish and technology have come a long way would be putting it mildly. The last bike I rode was a Schwinn 10 speed, the derailer was stuck so it was permanently in 10th.
The bike I purchased is a CUBE Nature Pro 2016 – 30 speed (though I think it’s going to be a while before I see those top ten gears). It’s German built really well put together. It was on sale and I got it for just under $1200 tax included. Twice as much as I paid for my first car.
But then, what’s your life worth?
Today was my first serious ride on it. Turns out a good chunk of the bike path to my work is uphill. My knees hurt until I figured out how to set the gears to keep the pressure more manageable. It was cold and my hands were freezing but the way I see it, as I get fitter, it’ll get easier and hopefully my next blood test results will be better. The silence of the ride was also a bit unnerving but the route will be pretty once things come into bloom.
Spandex though is still right out…
Sean Addison is up to his old tricks again in Devil’s Ante available on Amazon or if audiobooks are more your style all of my thrillers can be found through any audiobook retailer.