Cheap Love

by Rob Rowan
Columbia University Cycling

It’s not hard to feel the love for cycling at an ECCC event. Every one of us sacrifices time, money, energy, and weekend after weekend, all for the chance to race.  My wife and I believe in it so sincerely that we’re going to bring our 3 month-old baby to the all the races this year. But below the surface a less attractive side of this sport lurks. It’s extremely expensive. In my experience coaching Columbia, the cost of the sport is second on the list of things that keeps people from competing. First is the time it requires.

To help you keep the love cheap this season, I have provided a list of the best and worst ideas we’ve had in making or saving money. Some things here are for you personally, others for your team. Overall I hope that you will use some and think creatively about your own.

Things to Do

  1. Sell team clothing – We mark ours up by 100%
  2. DIY bars – There are tons of recipes on the web. The save us about 60%
  3. DIY Goo – Maple syrup is almost exactly the same and costs about 80% less
  4. CO2 cartridges – The same items are about 50% less on gun supply websites
  5. Bike Cleaning – Kitchen stores sell cheap brushes and Simple Green
  6. Renter’s insurance – A few dollars per month and will cover bike theft

Things Not To Do

  1. DIY Gatorade – Making your own costs about the same as the powder
  2. Drive fast – Our school’s vans use gallons of gas per minute at 80mph
  3. Host a race –Grant’s Tomb nets us $4/hour.  Minimum wage in NYC is $7.25
  4. Accept standard rates – If you’re renting 6 hotel rooms, you deserve a break
  5. Make Team Coffee – It’s logistically difficult and requires bathroom breaks
  1. February 23rd, 2010

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