In the days after 11 September 2001, the US stock market incurred some of its biggest losses up to that point in its history. Other markets around the world took similar "hits"; some feared that a recession that had begun earlier in the year would turn into a depression.
While there would be further losses, and the economy would show other signs of weakness, by end of 2001, the markets and other sectors of the economy had regained most of their losses. And, even though tourism (particularly the airlines) experienced a major slump, the economy as a whole didn't fare as badly as some expected. This, according to economists, was due at least in part to consumer spending.
In other words, people (at least those who could afford to do so) used "retail therapy" to deal with the stress and anxiety caused by events of that time. They were encouraged by the President himself and enabled by low interest rates on loans and credit cards.
Now, I don't mean to equate the death of my mother with the shock of 9/11, though it's the saddest event of my life. But I suppose that buying something you like can ease, if momentarily, some emotional pain. And, aside from what it does to one's budget, I guess it's better than, say, taking drugs or drinking, though not quite as good for a person as bike riding--which, by the way, I've been doing.
Speaking of bike riding--with the emphasis on "bike"--I engaged in a bit of retail therapy. Yes, I bought another bike. I couldn't resist. Well, all right, I could have. But when the guy who sold it dropped the price, he lowered my resistance.
Truthfully, that bike would have been hard to resist anyway. For one thing, it's a Mercian. For another, it's the right size. And the Campagnolo triple crankset and Rally derailleur definitely are rarities.
Oh, and that paint job!
One of the reasons why I got such a good deal, I believe, is that the bike has sew-up tires. I haven't ridden such tires in about twenty years, and have no intention of riding them again. The other things I'll change are the stem (because it's too long) and the saddle. But, really, I simply couldn't pass up an almost-full Campagnolo bike on a Reynolds 531 frame with that paint job. That paint job!
And it's a Mercian--a 1984 King of Mercia, to be exact. The wheelbase and clearances--not to mention the rack braze-ons and the bottle cage mount on the underside of the down tube--give this bike a more-than-passing resemblance to touring bikes from Trek as well as a number of Japanese manufacturers during the early-to-mid '80's. Tubular tires don't make much sense on it; I think that the original wheels were lost.
Even after I replace the tires, rims, saddle and stem, this bike will still be a great buy. Especially with that paint job!