Sometimes the choice is pretty clear and simple. Say, for example, I need to pick up a dozen sheets of drywall. Right off the bat I know I’m not taking the car for this particular errand. Pickup truck is definitely a better choice. It guzzles gas like a teenager sucking soda pop but it’s pretty darn handy for hauling stuff. Conversely, if Randa and I are wanting to cruise out to Colorado to go hiking on the Western Slope, the Silverado is staying at home. We’ll take the thirty-four mpg Fusion for that excursion. Like I said, easy decision.
What’s not so easy is deciding which bicycle I want to ride. My commuter bike is lighter, faster and takes less effort to pedal up the hills of eastern Cowley County. My trail bike, with its bigger softer tires and front suspension is much more comfortable. The tires and front shock absorb a very significant amount of the wretched road patches on the county’s back roads. Which means my wrists and rear end hold up a lot better on longer rides. But the legs pay the price for that comfort, having to work quite a bit harder and for a longer time to cover the same territory.
Generally I consider the planned route and the overall goals. If I’m wanting to cover more distance in a shorter time, and especially if I can cover that distance on smooth pavement, I’ll go with the commuter bike. And wear the padded biker shorts. Usually, I’ll average two-to-three miles an hour faster.
Pretty much all of our choices involve some sort of trade-off, what someone several years ago labelled “opportunity cost.” Doing the one thing means not doing the other. Some of our choices are pretty darn complex, complicated and not all that easy to settle on. But whenever any of those choices draw us mighty close to what we know just isn’t right, it really shouldn’t be that hard to decide. Integrity should never be the sacrifice.
But we should be mighty dang sure we aren’t letting pride or stubbornness masquerade as integrity.