The old saw goes something like this: “The best reason to get a job in the bike industry is to get the 30% discount that comes along with the 50% pay cut.” The percentages vary but the truth is never far off.
It seems that, though I am regularly presented with products to review, gifts from friends in the business, and the largesse of my employer, I still manage to spend a large percentage of my income on bike stuff. And even with discounts and wholesales, that percentage easily runs to double figures, let’s say 12%.
It does not at all help that bikes are getting better and more fun all the time (debatable), and so I feel compelled to upgrade, alter and chase the next great thing. This year alone I have invested in a disc brake bike, a roadie for my wife, a wheel-barrowful of parts and tools, an extra set of wheels, some studded tires, and a bunch of other absolutely essential equipment that my wife doesn’t yet know about.
It got me wondering how much other people spend on this hobby of ours.
A part of me recognizes that cycling is a problem, an addiction of sorts, and I think I should curb my enthusiasm, but then I think of this song, and I have no regrets, because what comes of all this spending, all this chasing and getting and installing and upgrading, is more fun than I could get from an annuity or one of those accounts that responsible people have aimed at paying their kids’ college tuition.
What is a liberal arts degree worth anymore anyway?
This week’s Group Ride asks, do you spend too much on bikes and cycling accoutrement? Have you ridden yourself into debt, or are you one of those get-one-great-bike-and-ride-it-forever types? Expressed as a percentage of your income, is your velo-spending cringe inducing or a badge of honor? Do you hide things from your significant other? Or are you content with the minimum functional article for every purpose, a cyclo-puritan?