Recently, a friend of mine went out and bought over two thousands dollars worth of speakers and audio equipment to hook up to his sixty-inch television. As soon as you walk into the place, all you see is motion picture, and your hear booming sounds coming from all directions. You’d think you were at Cinemark theatres. He gloated while demonstrating and explaining to me all the fancy stuff his new equipment could do.

After his little gloating session, we proceeded to his garage so he could get his bicycle and we could go for a ride, which was the reason for my visit. Whenever we go bike riding, we use that time to discuss various things and reflect upon things that we’ve done. No topic is off-limits, and they can range from business all the way to simple things, such as bicycles. This topic came up because his derailer continued to skip halfway through the seven mile trip we were making to this burger restaurant. Finally, after many tries, he was able to set it to a gear that was comfortable to ride up and down hills and not cause any skipping.

Upon arriving at the restaurant and ordering my food, he looked over at my bike and asked me how I could possibly ride faster than him when my bike has no gears. The answer was simple. My bike is like everything else I have in my life, SIMPLE. Instead of paying more for things such as gears and extra components, I put a little extra into buying a lighter frame and only the bare minimum necessary to meet my needs: an in-between gear ratio, one brake and lightweight tires. Not only did I pay half as much as he had, but my bike weighs half the amount, too. The maintenance is also cheaper, seeing as I don’t have to shift my gears up and down after stopping at every intersection, which would cause the gears to wear out.

More complexity causes more problems

K.I.S.S, known as keep it simple stupid, is a motto that I love to live by. I’ve seen many people buy complicated electronics – and in this case bicycles – only to not have a clue as to how to operate them. My friend’s neighbor has gone riding with us a few times and has one of those fancy road bikes with all the gears. You can tell he has no idea what he’s doing by the way he randomly shifts gears and complains that he has no clue as to what gear it’s in. Anything that has less to it is easier to operate and has less of a chance to break down. Sales people in the store always try to sell you more than you need by impressing you with all the bells and whistles – but you have to ask yourself something each time. Will I ever use any of this stuff, and is it worth the cost? Many times the answer is no.

Advantages to keeping things simple

By keeping things simple, you will not only have to work less due to the fact that you will cut down on spending, but you can use that money to save for things that really mean something. You can take the family on nice trip, or bring the wife out to a fancy dinner. The benefit is that you can spend more time with the family and less time working your life away. Life is too short to just spend it working for stuff that adds no value to your life at all.

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