Sunday, 24 January 2016

2015 Bike Spend

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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