My Redline Monocog 1x9 29er, caked with mud after a mucky ride: This is just about the simplest bike with gears out there, no suspension, no front derailleur, just a rear 9 speed cassette to give the rider a few choices while grunting uphill. There are times when I wish for a fancy 'squishy' mountain bike (with suspension) but the simplicity of this bike does appeal to me.
These days, it's easy to read the news and get depressed: Peak oil seems to have arrived; the cost of everything is going up remarkably rapidly; strange weather may be a portent of catastrophic events yet to come; wars drag on, etc. Close to home, Vermont's economy keeps taking hits, and rumors swirl that significant cuts may be coming to IBM's workforce in the state.
But it's summertime -- a short season, and there are plenty of long dark cold winter days ahead (not too far off, even on the summer solstice) to putz around online and worry about the future, now is the time to log off and experience the tactile world of dirt, bugs and possibly deeper than anticipated mud bogs on the trail. Tonight I went for short ride on a VAST trail near the reservoir, it was very cool to ride through the humid misty woods, scaring up deer and trying to pick good lines through the mucky sections -- it's been very wet lately.
I'm over forty now, I have a mortgage, job, 401k, blah blah blah, but in a small way I'm glad that I still look forward to getting out and playing on my bike, especially when so many dark things loom large in our collective imagination.