Due to my naive* interpretation of the feedback I received to last week’s edition, I’m back again with another reflective message.
I want to echo Ben Lee’s (or is it Daffy?) sentiment – quite a group you have going here. I reconnected with Old Spice yesterday – we used to sleep through the same lectures at uni 30 years ago!
Part way through week 2, I’m happy with progress, even managed a ride home last night with the 6pm bus, safely directed by Old Spice and Norman. From St Ives I rode with MRE along MV Rd and down Forest Way, then solo to Seaforth and finally home to Allambie. 45km! After taking a 25km route to work, I covered 70km yesterday – and didn’t hear those legs until I got home.
(As I type this, my legs are mumbling – “You deaf head – too many rock concerts in the 80s” and “We woke you up 5 times last night with cramps, what does it take to get the message through?” )
Enough of the emotional soppy group hug stuff and the painful physical update – over to the topic for this week:
Bike Budgets – or to put it another way: “How can I get away with spending lots of money on my bike and not get busted by my wife?”
To those ERs who ride under a male ride name (I’m assuming that is the females of our group) my apology for the sexist assumption underlying the alternate title for this week’s topic. I promise that next week’s ramblings will be more attuned to your tastes.
The tips below come with no guarantee, and you can be pretty sure that if one approach works this week, it will not work next week.
In the end, it all comes down to psychology – and being a lawyer, I know more about psychology then anyone (except other lawyers). It was part of first year law – not psychology – knowing everything. All lawyers learn that they actually know everything about every topic known to man (and even those topics not thought of by anyone yet) just by virtue of them completing law. How else can judges sit and make decision about anything and everything? 😉
But I digress – back to psychology – that is you know which buttons set off your significant other.
So what do we know to help us? A few things that are pretty commonly experienced:
- That for some reason, our significant other has a soft spot for us (when we are not disappointing that significant other);
- Generally, money is not important in a relationship, it is time that counts;
- If I change my approach to money, my partner doesn’t like to be told, but would rather be able to understand;
- Money becomes a focus if we make it the focus.
So let us just imagine that you have just seen your dream bike – imagine a shiny yellow and black 2012 BMC Cadel Evans signature edition – with your favourite number “34” on it. Unless the owner decides to let it go for $100, the price is likely to exceed you delegated (or single signature approved) authority. How can you justify the spend? FAIL – as soon as you start trying to justify the expense, you have lost.
You should let the Cadel go – until you can lay the foundations for success:
(You wouldn’t do the 3 peaks without some sort of training?)
- Highlight the importance of cycling to your well-being:
- You have a hot body thanks to your riding (ok – maybe don’t go that hard – but you are in better shape than if you didn’t ride at all)
- You are more relaxed due to the way you commute one or more times each week (don’t yell at the kids from the couch when you are totally wrecked from having ridden 70kms in a day – on top of a day at work – trust me 😉 )
- Highlight the extra time you can spend with your loved ones:
- You save time by doing your exercise in your commuting time, leaving more quality time you can spend with your partner and kids
- Mention the dollar value of riding (but don’t go overboard or it will look like you are scheming)
- You save money on bus/train fares by riding to work.
Once you have laid the foundation (over time) and you have demonstrated the benefits mentioned above (eg take your partner out on the money you have saved on fares and using the time you previously may have gone to the gym for a run) then you need to slip in the odd comment about servicing the bike etc. It should become part of the fabric of your household, just like getting the car serviced – but with the exception that your saved bus/train fares could never come close to the cost of car service – in fact there is another saving – you don’t need to drive to the station anymore, so you save on car servicing.
I’ll leave it to you to work out all the possible benefits and justifications, but everyone knows that there comes a time with all cars, that you should get rid of it and replace it with a new or recent used car. If you have laid the foundations for success – replacing your bike will just become another expense in the household budget. Just make sure when you go shopping for a new kitchen, you don’t put the brakes on the budget – you always have to give the ultimate decision to the one who knows best – so if you talk about good value … you get where I’m heading yeah?
Then the end result is that you explain that the Cadel Bike cost nearly $27,000 brand new, so $15,000 is a real bargain …
For those who have read the whole of this perspective – you are a hardy lot. I’m a lawyer – you are not supposed to believe anything I say – basically the above is just a load of (^@#.
In my experience, you have to act like a 5 year old, just keep asking until eventually the “no” turn into a “yes”. Or live according to the rule that forgiveness is easier to get than permission. Or work really really hard on that spreadsheet, adding up everything you have saved by riding (it still will not work) but threaten to kill yourself if your partner says no again – that’s really just a variation of acting like a 5 year old …
One thing that actually works (kinda)
The only thing I’ve found that helps (nothing works) is to have some mates over, let them give their opinion of what an awesome deal you got on that bike and how they wish they were as good a negotiator as you – for some reason, most spouses like to hear their other half get compliments – even stuff they said “no” to counts on this list (and once your partner has put your skilful purchasing skills on the “pros” list, the world is your oyster- or should I say bike shop?)
So the most important thing is – make sure your mates are free for a BBQ (and know what to say) the weekend after you pick-up that new bike!
Note: No guarantees – good luck – I know a good divorce lawyer.
For more serious reading – http://www.marsvenus.com/
* When people send me a compliment, I take it on face value – I’m actually prepared to fool myself that some folk get enjoyment from reading my dribble – anyway, I’ll continue in my state of delusion for now … 😉