Being a typical male, hell call me a stereotypical male, I’m cool with it, I like to drop some coin on my hobby de jour. For a time it was running. Then a couple of others that tend to anger the haters so I’ll gloss over those as if they were of no consequence. Now, as has been for coming up on five years now, cycling.
As I’ve made painfully clear over the last four or five years, I don’t drink, smoke, run around or have any other hobbies. I could golf, in fact I’m quite good, but I have more fun on a bike and two big hobbies is too much to ask my family to cope with. I’ve also hinted that, other than our bikes, we lead a fairly humble life. The tough part about coming out and saying that is, well, if you have to tell someone you’re humble, you probably aren’t.
To me, cycling is the quintessential hobby.
While there is no doubt, cycling can get expensive in a hurry, as far as a hobby goes, if you’re going to spend some money, what better than on something that not only will ensure good health for decades to come but will aid in continued mobility? What better than to spend time with others who are following the same path?
I’ll put cycling up against golf, motorcycles, sports cars or any other midlife crisis hobby any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I guarantee you, only one of those hobbies will have you climbing several flights of stairs with your heart rate peaking at 60 beats per minute.
I can purchase anywhere from six to forty bikes (depending on exactly how “high-end” one wanted to go) for the cost of that beautiful Corvette Stingray in the photo above (my “if I win the lotto” sports car). The photo of the Vette is from Cheverolet’s website.
Also consider, while an active lifestyle doesn’t guarantee one’s health, as many detractors are wont to point out, it does, across the board, virtually guarantee better health. With the exception of my Obamacare, which I’m forced to maintain, in the last decade I’ve spent no money at a doctor’s office on poor health. No money on prescriptions. No lost productivity at work other than a few sick days for a flu or two…
In other words, I’ve been able to spend my money on the McLaren of bicycles rather than throwing it at a doctor’s Mercedes.
These facts notwithstanding, the reality of what is absolutely necessary when it comes to cycling widely varies and is absolutely open, at least until some hack bureaucrat or dope of a politician decides otherwise, to choice – what may be necessary for me will be an utter waste of money for most other cyclists. The cost is relative.
I have one goal in mind when I ride alone or with anyone other than my wife: Go FAST. While fast isn’t necessarily required for fitness and weight loss, the speed is what makes it fun for me. If I were confined to a mountain bike, I’d still ride but it wouldn’t be near as much fun and I wouldn’t be as into it as I am now. For the commuter or leisure cyclist, the bike cost is vastly less than what I need (though clothing for the commuter can get hectic pretty quick). For mountain biking, depending on how far one wants to take it, costs are half that of road cycling, far less that for clothing, however many of the latest, lightest mountain bikes are far more costly than all but the most expensive road machines.
With that out of the way, one last note: Ride a bike and feed a tree. It makes the world a greener place.