Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Sunday, June 05, 2005

"Barriers to Entry" is a term of art in trade law-- such barriers can take the form of restrictive tariffs, but nowadays more often consist of regulations which make the costs of importation economically unfeasible. The classic example(which may be apocryphal), is the requirement of the Japanese Customs Department that all aluminum baseball bats must be individually tested and certified. I like to think about the customs inspectors, down on the docks, finishing their morning tea, then going out and hitting some fungos. It must be pleasant work. Perhaps there is an abandoned warehouse there, and they can try to knock out the windows, or maybe they just hit the balls off the piers, watching for the splash.

Other sorts of things can be barriers to entry, of course, and chief among these in everyday life is a lack of essential technical knowledge. I thought about getting a bicycle for two years before I finally did, and it was because I didn't know enough to even ask the right questions that I was frozen in a state of wanting a bike, but not having one. Now I find that I am in the same place with respect to possibly upgrading my ride.

At present I am on a Raleigh C40. It does everything I need, and is comfortable as well, but a flat tire yesterday left me spending a half hour at Campus Wheelworks looking over the sleek Italian greyhounds, and thinking about duathalons and triathalons. There are, however, barriers to entry. Price is one-- the better part of $2 grand is not something I could justify for a toy, and even dipping well under the five figure mark seems likely to get me a whole lot more bike than I'm ever going to need. I mean, $600 bucks is a lifestyle change, you know? What I'd like is a ride that is a little lighter, so I'm pushing a little less bike on my cross-training day. I don't think I'm ready for a whole new sports wardrobe, and I'm almost positive that the world isn't ready for me in bike shorts. I'm not even sure I'm ready for toe clips, let alone cleats.

I probably could have doubled today, run then gone for a ride, but all I wanted to do was take the bike out, so that's all that I got to. Downtown, out Exchange to Seneca, out Seneca to Bailey, then down to Cazenovia Park. Back out along Seneca to Ellicot, then home, about 18 miles, nice and easy. I'm not ready for a new bike.

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