I have been talking about buying a road bike for over ten years, and last week I finally did! It is comical to think about how many conversations I’ve had with people over the years about this, but just could not seem to justify spending the money to do it. I get so much joy from saving money and increasing our net worth, but as it turns out, I get a lot of joy from spending as well. It’s the joy of delayed spending.
My Bike Is Old Enough to Drink
For my 12th birthday, my parents bought me a Mongoose mountain bike. It was a pretty sweet ride for a 12 year old. I am about to turn 33, and I kid you not, I have been riding that bike for the last 21 years!
Throughout my teenage years and twenties, I went through various phases of bike riding, but it has always been an activity that I have enjoyed doing. As a runner, I frequently count a bike ride as a cross training day, but also really enjoy going for a leisurely bike ride in the evening with my mom.
Even though, technically, the old Mongoose is a mountain bike, it does not have any shocks. I’m also too much of a scaredy cat to ride on single-track trails, so I mostly stick to paved and gravel roads with it. I am not a fast rider, so I usually go for 45 minute rides that are about 6 miles long (that’s about 8 mph).
It is hard work riding up hills, and I knew how much easier it would be on a road bike, but it took me years to finally buy one.
Making Saving a Priority
Like with most things, if you do not consistently save for them, the money will never be there. I’ve had savings accounts dedicated to a new bike in the past, but that money always got spent on something else (like graduate classes or a trip). This year I was determined to actually buy one, and set up a new account to save for it. Unfortunately, I did not budget for a transfer into that account each month, and only put $25 or $50 extra dollars into it when I could, so it did not grow very fast.
For these past 6 months, I really have cut back on clothing purchases. I decided that rather than buy new clothes with my kick-around cash this summer, I would use that money to beef up my savings account. I also used $400 from a house/petsitting gig to top off the account at my goal of $1,000 for a decent entry-level road bike. (To all the frugal freaks out there, yes I know you can find cheaper used bikes on Craigslist, but I really wanted to get properly fitted at a bike shop.)
Buying the Bike
My husband and I went to the bike shop last week, so I could check out what was available. I told the owner of the shop what my price range was, and he knew just what to show me. He adjusted a Giant bike to fit me, and sent me out for a test ride. It was love at first pedal!
The owner explained that the technology with bikes has improved so much over the years, that a $1,000 bike would have cost $2,000 a few years ago. This helped me justify how much I was about to spend on a bike.
After some deliberation, I decided to order a Liv women’s specific bike (that’s Giant’s line of ladies bikes) because it has a slightly smaller frame and would not need as many adjustments for me as the men’s version I test rode.
I swiped my credit card (to earn travel points of course!), and sadly left without my bike that day.
Riding My New Bike
I got the call a week later that my bike had arrived and was ready to pick up. The owner of the bike shop made a few adjustments and then I was on my way. I could not wait to get home to take her on her maiden voyage.
Riding my new bike is every bit of enjoyable as I imagined it would be. I know I will get many years of use out of this purchase and hopefully up my fitness level. Once we move, I’m also hoping to bike to work.
Was this purchase worth it? HELL YEAH!
Have you ever experienced the joy of delayed spending?
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