Yesterday I went for a MTB ride. It’s winter and I decided to ride in the coastal region due to warmer temperatures. The starting point was about 110 km from home (220 km round trip). I didn’t give it much thought, threw the stuff into my trunk and drove to the starting point. I did another great ride and I couldn’t be happier. It was then time to drive back home. Car’s fuel was running low and I had to fill it up. When I started driving again I began calculating how much my rides actually cost me. Especially the ones that require driving to the starting point of the ride.
I quickly figured that fuel must have cost me about 20 EUR. I added 4 EUR for two energy bars for 22 EUR total. I knew that this does not include the car and bike wear costs. I don’t struggle for survival, but already 22 bucks is not that little. Immediately upon my return home I did a simple calculation of total costs for my today’s 30km MTB ride:
- 18 EUR (fuel consumption of 6,8 l/100km and diesel price at 1,19 EUR/l),
- 10 EUR (Nissan Quashquai running costs of 40 EUR/1000km, based on my historical tyre price/wear and work costs – mechanic ),
- 4 EUR (two energy bars),
- 4,5 EUR (bike wear costs, based on my MTB maintenance costs of 150 EUR/1000km, which include brake pads, tyres, chain, cassette, lube, derailleur hanger, wheels, work costs – mechanic etc.).
- TOTAL: 36,5 EUR
Wow! I didn’t see this one coming. And note that the costs don’t include the costs of a car, car insurance, toll, bike and bike clothing. The costs are definitely much higher than I anticipated.
Do the simple calculation for yourself. Maybe your costs aren’t a s high as mine. But still, they are far from 0. Does that mean that you should stop riding a bike? Definitely no! But you should only do the rides that give you a bigger satisfaction than the loss of your hard earned euros (dollars). In other words, if someone offered you 35 EUR to stay at home, instead of going for ride, would you accept the offer?
The answer depends on the value you extract from your bike rides. You have your own reasons for riding. It might be an adventure/exploration factor, shredding new trails, socialising, combination of all three or something completely different. I know it’s hard to put a price tag on these, but only by knowing what you’re looking for in a ride, you can maximise the value of each ride and make sure that the money is well spent.
I assume that the great majority of us rides for the pleasure of exploring new trails. So, if you want to exceed the monetary costs of a ride, you should make explore the maximum amount of new trails on each ride. I use Canopy to maximise the distance of new trails that I haven’t yet explored. Canopy shows me the trails I have already explored and lets me create a route on new trails. Thus, I maximise the joy factor I get from a ride. And I can’t wait to check out upon my return home, how many new kilometers I have added to my Rubberprint.
But even if you have deep pockets, you should note that each time you grind the same routes, you throw away an opportunity to explore new views. An opportunity that you’ll never recover. So, plan your rides beforehand to guarantee yourself a joy during a ride and satisfaction that will last for a long time after you did it.
Written by marko