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The Joy of Cycling… If Only It Didn’t COST SO MUCH! Well Now, Let’s Look At That in Perspective….


February 2016

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.



$5,000.  Runs on fat.




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.


  1. I have a cruiser bike that I like to ride around town with my daughters; however, I really want a real bike.I run marathons & I’ve gotten back into lap swimming (currently up to 2000 meter workouts) and I’m trying not to think about it, but wouldn’t a triathlon be fun? The only issue is the money. Trying not to focus on it too much, but this entry about biking fast is making me think about it again! Happy riding!

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thanks! The best bike on the market for a woman who wants an all-around road bike/triathlon bike is the Specialized Alias. I bought one for my wife last Christmas and she and that bike are inseparable. The base model is only $2,000! I bought her the equivalent of the sport though… It’s worth the extra $500, trust me on this.

      By the way, that’s how I got into cycling in the first place – decided to do a triathlon or two to shake up the run routine. Once I got a decent bike, there was no looking back. 😉

      • Thank you for the information. It looks very exciting. That price tag is tough, though. I’m currently just saving up and thinking about it. I went and sat on some bikes at the local shop and Specialized felt the best to me. I will definitely narrow it to the Alias now. It sure would be nice to find a used one that was barely ridden. I’m keeping my eyes open. That sure would be nice … unlikely, but nice.

      • Dan says:

        You’d be surprised! I bought, in 2000, a custom built bike with high end components for $800 on Ebay. Those things do happen. It was this time of year and apparently, not many cyclists were looking yet. Or I got lucky, although I prefer blessed!

      • bgddyjim says:

        Those deals are definitely out there, no doubt about it. I saw a 56 cm BMC Team Machine on sale at a swap meet for $800! Hardest thing I’ve ever done was walk away from that steed.

      • bgddyjim says:

        I’m wishing it for you… 😉

  2. Dan says:

    It’s funny that my dream car is an old one rather than new! 1957 Thunderbird. I too would rather have another bike though, or save the money on my future trip across the nation. We all have our hot buttons! Good post as always.

  3. I wrote a piece comparing the costs of cycling to running. Posted it to a Reddit running thread, and got savaged by the running trolls. My point was simple, amortized over time, some of the costs of cycling aren’t as dramatic as they seem. A $2000 bike lasts 10 years or so. That’s only $200 a year. You spend three times that much on a set of three shoes these days. But the trolls were having none of that. They called me names. Trolls will do that. I think it’s something up their butt.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Sometimes hitting the true believers with a truth they aren’t accustomed to hearing will do that, brother. I read that post and new you were going to get hammered.

      That said, I did a lot of running before cycling and I thank God I’m making double what I did then… Even with entry fees I never spent as much on running – but we both know I go a little nuts with all of the stuff I “must” have.

  4. tamsynsmith says:

    If only I could stop myself at one new bike, but then there are all of the other things – new kit to match the bike (sorry – can’t help it!), workstand, tools, new bike for a different purpose (touring, mountainbike, cyclocross etc etc)… probably the worst expenditure was the new house to accommodate all of the cycling stuff 😉

  5. Anon says:

    In my experience that Corvette would buy you up to 200 beat-up English three-speeds… Your point is well made, any hobby is as expensive as you’re willing to spend on it. £4000 would buy you a pretty awesome telescope, for example, but not the best, and top end cricket bats cost about £500 – for a piece of WOOD that will last possibly only two years if you’re a good enough batsman to justify that price tag. Someone asked me the total value of my cricket bag, and (even though I’m practically the worst cricket player you could find) it was close to £1000. Men and their hobbies…

  6. Manu Stanley says:

    Ride the bike and feed a tree. Wonderful thought. I’m following that 🙂

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