Not for the fainthearted. Nor the light in the pocketbook.
Those should be the new tag lines for USAT.
Ours is an expensive hobby. We invest a pretty sizeable chunk of our disposable income into the tools that allow us to speed down a strip of asphalt, to glide through the water, and be fleet-footed down a path.
I’ve never actually added up all of the entry costs for this sport, however, I know that I’ve spent close to $2000.00 this year alone on this sport. Yes. TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS. And I haven’t even raced that much. If you add in my running events plus the expenses I plan on incurring the rest of the year, this figure will at least double, if not more.
The year I did Ironman, I easily spent $5000 on the sport, and I only raced 2 races all year. How on Earth? Two Ironman Community Fund slots (@ $1300 per), hotel and travel to Lousiville, condo rental and travel to Panama City Beach. Rental wheels. Rental wetsuit. Forget about the “small stuff” – Clif bars, gels, tubes, tires, Body Glide, etc…that probably adds another thousand dollars.
Saturday morning I stopped by a local bike shop – specifically to purchase five things. Two tubes for my wife’s bike, two tubes for my bike, and a new CO2 inflator for my wife. In and out in less than five minutes: $55.38 down the drain.
I recall when bike tubes were about $5 each. I paid $11 each for tubes for my bike – of course, they had 60mm stems. I guess 20mm of extra aluminum on the stem is worth the $3 extra per tube.
Sorry to be so jaded. Perhaps I’m just ranting like the old man I’m becoming as I age not so gracefully into my 40’s. Perhaps I am beginning to sound like those old fogey’s on Slowtwitch that rant on and on about the “spirit” of triathlon.
I just wish our sport didn’t cost as much as it does (or can).
Granted, I know it could be so very much worse. I don’t buy new equipment all the time. I own a second-hand bike and second-hand wheels. I’m fortunate enough to have some amazing sponsors that are generous in every way possible. Perhaps the time will come when I don’t mind dropping five grand on a new bike or wheels. I suspect that it won’t be while my kids are around…but that’s what retirement is for, right?
Time to go up my 401(k) contributions…