For months I've been griping about not having any hill gears. All the while mashing up tolerably good sized routes like the loop around lake Folsom (4500 feet in 35 miles, followed by a long downhill stretch), Cantelow, Cardiac, Two Sisters Road, etc. Dying on some of those too.
Well, today I noticed that my back tire is wearing out, so I searched around and found replacements at a pretty good price. Since the price was so good, I dug around the site more and found a suitable cassette (Chorus, 9sp, 13/26) for less than $100. And they had chains for $38. So, I buckled. 2 tires, a cassette, and 2 chains (my wife's bike needs one now, mine will this winter).
I'll slap that cassette on when it gets here, and replace the back tire. That'll give me a spare road tire too.
Now I can gripe that I don't have a triple!