Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bike total cost of ownership

I've had a pretty interesting week of bike rides. Of course, just like anyone else, when I say "interesting" I mean bang your head against the wall frustrating.

First, an update on my foot. The good news is that I am 100% pain free while walking. *cue the heavenly music* While I am no doctor, even though I drink as much Dr Pepper as humanly possible, even I know that no pain while WALKING has to be a good sign. I'm going to give it a few more days and a few drinks bottles of wine and see how I am on Sunday. I'll probably try to do a quick 3 or 5 miler in Napa to test it out. Hopefully I'll be sober, but if not at least I will feel no pain.

So, on to the biking. Like I said before, biking has been fun, but just a we bit of frustrating. The reason? 110 pounds per square inch. That is how much air I must put in my bike tires. I am pretty sure that this is just shy of the amount of hot air in one episode of Jerry Springer.

So far this week, I've rode my bike on Monday and Thursday. (I know, not every day like I said, I'll put on the cone of shame.) How many flat tires have I had? Two. That, my bloggie friends, is batting 1000. Good when you are trying to run and not shart yourself, bad when you are biking and don't want a flat tire. An example:

This morning I went for a pretty long bike ride (for me). I pedaled my way through 25 miles of suburban Phoenix. The bike ride itself was actually quite fun - except for all of the snot that CONSTANTLY dripped out of my nose. Luckily, I have no shame and I was a snot rocketing, sleeve wiping, and sniffing more than a coke addict should ever sniff. All was well while I was cruising along at my normal 15.5ish MPH pace (including stop lights) when at mile 21 (of 25) I got another flat tire. 11 minutes and an indescribable number of swears later, I had a new tire and all was right with the world. I ended up finishing with an overall pace of 14.0 MPH. This is especially frustrating because my "biking" time was somewhere around 17.5 MPH average (not including stop lights).

Having yet another flat got me thinking about the total cost of ownership of biking vs running. With both you certainly have to buy food. That is a given. And no matter how hard I try I can't go naked for either because my wife won't let me. So, that is basically a wash. And, since the bike is a pretty hefty investment itself, for my purposes I'll ignore it. (my game, my rules) Here are the two cost lists that I came up with:

Running:
  • Shoes: $90
  • ??? Is that it???

Biking:
  • Tubes: $7
  • Air canisters for road flats: $2
  • Tires: ??
  • Frustration of changing tire while looking like a dork wearing a bike helmet: priceless
So, while it seems like running is way cheaper, it turns out that you just spend your money in different installments. As long as I only go through 9 tubes over a 3 or 4 month period (fat chance), I'll basically break even. Believe me, I'm surprised too. I honestly didn't think about it in those terms, so I guess I should give biking a break and suck up the embarrassment of changing a flat on the side of the road. Besides, it isn't like I don't already look like a tool with running shorts on and a bike helmet, right?

18 comments:

RunnuRMark said...

Tool, indeed, my man. Suck it up and throw on some tight bike shorts so you look the part. But hey, at least you're getting practice with changing flats. With my luck, I'll probably get my first flat during a race and not know what the hell I'm doing.

Jamoosh said...

No shoes for cycling? Barefoot running is one thing; barefoot cycling - you are hardcore!

Adam said...

I use my old running shoes for biking because I still don't have those clip shoes w/ the velcro....which makes me look MORE like a tool!

The Sean said...

Get some puncture resistant tires... for gravel roads. That should help in the long run... drink a bottle of merlot for me.

Mike Russell said...

Who would want to bike naked? Can you imagine the chaffing?

And yes, you need to go clipless pal. That is the reason you are getting so many flats -- the spirit of Miguel Indurain is punishing you.

Jill said...

Dr. Pepper certainly constitutes a valid self-diagnosis; Having watched an episode of Dr. Phil once, I have no doubt I'm a lunatic. Who in their right mind pays $150 for running shoes every 2-3 months?

Running Through Life said...

That is a lot of flat tires, quit riding on broken beer bottles.

I hope you can get back to running soon.

Pam F. said...

Seriously? Shoes is all you can think of???

Maybe it won't be so bad now that I've gotten started, but initially running was pretty expensive! Had to get the garmin, some decent running clothes (God forbid I run in a cotton t-shirt anymore.), some decent ear buds for the ipod, etc...

And we all know how the race fees add up!

kilax said...

I'm happy to hear your foot is feeling somewhat better!

What is up with all the flats?!

Running Through Phoenix said...

Again with the passive aggressive manipulation!! I'm married and HAPPILY married. Next time you get a flat and end up in some Godforsaken East Mesa bar asking for a glass of water, and then meet a cute young cocktail waitress who wants to "meet me", tell her to find someone single and living in her own zip code. Sheeeeesh!

BrianFlash said...

I also have no shame when it comes to snot rocketing. My gloves, sleeves, etc. are not something most people would want to handle...

Spike said...

Bikes are nobodys friend. Get your foot better and get back to running.

Julie said...

Hi Adam,
Well, at least you got out on a few bike rides! Sorry about the flat tires:) Let me know how the running is in Napa..I am running the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon in July:)

I havn't been feeling the greatest either:( My throat feels like I just swallowed glass and my nose is running nonstop! Take care of yourself!

Rio said...

I've gotten more bike flats here in AZ than I ever did when I lived in CA. Not sure why.
But it's great you got out there!

Glenn Jones said...

Wow. 110 psi in those bike tires? That seems really high. Road bike?

As far as drippy snots - I am convinced that's why they give out long sleeve tech shirts here in Southern California. Either that or becuase we are weather wimps and think that 55 degrees is cold.

inspiREDtorun13 said...

You should get a Nike LiveStrong shirt. I actually bought one today (to run in). I'm SO excited about it. No biker wearing that could look like a tool ;)

Have you thought about assigning some kind of reward solely to biking? It could be as silly as you like, but it could give you extra motivation to do a workout that's not your favorite.

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Wow, didn't realize the those bikers got so many flats...or is it just you? I have never had one of those street bikes, but on my trusty ten speed that I ride once each year never get a flat. *knock *knock

Laura said...

Glad your foot is doing a bit better!

I saw "Up" this weekend and loved it... what a great movie! Thanks for the cute reference :)