2015 Bike Spend

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I’m internally compelled to question and think about things, and I rarely accept what’s told to me unless it strongly aligns with my own paradigm and understanding of the world.

Anyone who’s read this blog for a long time will know this, and in particular they may recall my long and boring blogs about cyclist spending.

I love writing those blogs, and guess what …. this is another one!!!!!

Image Source: TeeSpring

Earlier this week I was reading an article titled “Accident rates amongst regular bicycle riders in Tasmania, Australia” (yep, that’s what I do) and I stumbled across this little snippet of information:

Costs associated with bicycles

Of the 345 bicycles included in the survey 201 (58.3%) were insured. Of those insured, 119 (59.2%) required an additional premium of $ 88 (SD 115; range 12–560) per annum, in excess of the participants’ standard house and contents insurance, to cover bicycle theft or damage. In addition, participants spent $ 717 (SD 761; range 0–3850) on bicycle maintenance, equipment and clothing in the year preceding participation in the survey.

Hmmm” … my little analytical brain thought to itself …. “I wonder how much I spend on cycling“.

Even more interesting, I wonder where I spent it … and so with these thoughts in mind, I dived into my accounts system and pulled out all of my expenditure on cycling for 2015 …
Now for my first cut at doing this, I pulled out all of my expenditure on cycling related activities, including our three week holiday in Japan (which was a cycling holiday), my little cycling trip to Victoria, and various other cycling related expenditure such as tassietrails, my attendance at the launceston bicycle tourism conference and associated outdoor (non-cycling specific) clothing and gear bought for the trips above and I got a number just north of … let’s just say it was a big number and that it had more than four digits in it before the decimal point.
I quickly realised that this was 10+ standard deviations away from the norm (which if you’re not statistically minded, is a bit of an extreme outlier) and then I realised that this was because I wasn’t comparing ‘like with like’ as the original study only looked at bicycle maintenance, equipment and clothing.
Phew – if I knew I spent that much money on cycling stuff (and that’s not including all of my petrol, accommodation and other expenses for travelling around Tasmania), well … I’d have to go and order myself one of these … 

Footnote – I ordered this T-Shirt last week from TeeSpring and shall include it in my 2016 report.
Anyway, I went back into my data and removed all of that ‘extra’ stuff and came in with a much more justifiable $3,906 spent on bike equipment, servicing and clothing in 2015.

Although that still placed me slightly outside the survey range, I justify this on the basis that it does include $1,850 for the purchase of two bikes ($1,500 for my Norco Bigfoot and $350 for the purchase of my Dahon Folding Bike – bought second hand off Gumtree).

So I only really spent $1,826 on parts and servicing and $229 on bicycle specific clothing (note: somewhat balancing my under-exenditure in cycling clothing last year, I think I’ve spent nearly double that already in 2016 on new nicks, shorts, socks and shoes).

Now considering  I own nine bikes, I think only spending two and a half times the average expenditure on these things should be seen as me being a prudent individual.  Some may even call it scrooge like expenditure …

I haven’t bought this T-Shirt from TeeSpring yet – but I know I will.

Anyway, seeing I’d spent all this time pulling out all this expenditure, I was curious enough to take the next step and see how much of my money I spent locally and how much I spent online … the eternal conundrum of the cyclist with a conscious … do I pay more and support the local bike shop so they’re there when I need them or do I save money and go online.

Now, if you’d ask me where I spend my cycling money before I did this analysis, I would have told you that Avantiplus Sandy Bay is my go to local store for parts and servicing, but I would have also said that I probably spend most of my money buying gear online through Pushy’s and Wiggle and a few other sites.

Here’s something that’s not a surprise: if I had said that to you, I would have been wrong.

Turns out that, yes, I bought all of my cycling clothes online which isn’t really a surprise as there are just so many more options online (and I am still smarting from that purchase of those over-priced arm warmers from Bike Ride in 2012), so I was right about that.

What was surprising though was that 83% of my “parts and servicing” spend last year was local, and that I only bought 17% of my stuff online.

That’s a showstopper.

What surprised me even more was that, although as I sort of expected, most of my parts and servicing money ($977) was spent at AvantiPlus (52% of total spend), I actually spent over $500 on bike servicing and parts at Ride Bellerive, plus I bought a new bike there, so I actually spent most of my money at Ride Bellerive.

That’s also a showstopper.

On closer examination though this did make sense because of my bridge crash where Ride Bellerive kind of saved my day and got me home (and didn’t complain as I stood there half in shock bleeding over their flooring) leading to me giving them my road bike to repair as my thank you.

So it turns out that as a cyclist, I actually do quite a lot to support my local shops.

Third show stopped in as many paragraphs.

In terms of what it is doing to my bank account, well I thought this one last T-shirt says it all …

Image Source: TeeSpring

There ends the analyis.

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