..because there must be more to life than buying stuff.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Buying the Whole Hobby Kit

Whatever happened to good old fashioned hobbies? I've got a new hobby myself - cycling. I remember when I used to cycle as a child. I found some old 10-speed, wrenched on it for awhile, and then rode it. The hobby consisted of riding the bike and occasionally fixing it. I was satisfied! What was missing?

Well, there weren't enough consumer moments. Luckily, this has been fixed. Today's budding cyclist must buy the whole kit. You're told right up front that if you "ever get serious" about this hobby, you'll want to "move up" with your equipment. Ah, there it is again.. The "move up". You're supposed to show how serious you are with your wallet.

The kit also contains the following indispensable items: (and don't think that these just count for cycling.. They can apply to scuba, running, hiking, scrapbooking, etc.)
  • Lots of specialized incidental equipment. This is made for (bikes, scuba, scrapbooking) only, so don't even THINK about adapting something cheaper for the purpose. For example, don't buy regular sunglasses when you could buy cycling sunglasses.
  • Magazine subscriptions. You'll have almost as much fun reading about your new hobby as you do doing it. Maybe more. Magazines also provide consumer opportunities on every page. EVERY SINGLE PAGE. Check out Bicycling Magazine sometime.
  • Clothing. Ok, for scuba I understand this. But must every other hobby have a uniform that you can buy right off the shelf at REI?
  • Websites - like I said, you're going to want to spend more time reading about your hobby than doing it, so start bookmarking. Besides, how else will you endlessly research the benefits of titanium shifter components for your bike, and compare prices?

Oh, I could rant on. Please, people. Get out there and do your hobbies. Have fun. Stop reading about them for a minute, stop buying accoutrements, and just ENJOY.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I observed, about 20 years ago, that there was a remarkable consistency in the cost of a sports-hobby.

At the time it cost about a grand to gear up for skiing, scuba, biking, climbing. I bet it's more now. Does it cost a couple grand to be serious? It wouldn't surprise me.

It can be done for less, and increases can be made over time ... my personal rule for biking is to upgrade when I am consistently passing more expensive bikes. That might be silly, but it works for me.

6:07 PM, October 23, 2005

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey man, this blog has possibilities, but you've got to keep going ... rack up some posts.

Here's a good one, that I'm sure you could document with other blog posts from around the web: "consumer v. citizen"

Why are we consumers now?

2:38 PM, October 24, 2005

Blogger Kris said...

Paul...you would absolutely love Rivendell Bicycle Works of Walnut Creek, CA. They sell premium, QUALITY bicycle products and shun the idea that racing is the only "serious" cycling.


7:21 AM, November 05, 2005

Anonymous beev said...

I've got a great pair of sunglasses I use for cycling. They're just normal ones, but are perfect for cycling or anything else. They are Faber (decent quality, I think), they look good, they are bulletproof (really!) and I got them half price 'cos I bought them at the end of the summer. Only 15 pounds, or about 10 of your dollars. If anybody shoots me in the eye when I'm riding my bike I will be just fine!

7:16 PM, November 09, 2005

Blogger Fiona said...

I started cycling at around the same time as you, but I do it as an alternative form of transport to/from work now. The guys at the bike shop turned on the pressure when I bought the bike though. You should be getting this.. you should be upgrading to that.. oh no you shouldn't get the large basket to put all your books in, that will just weigh down your bike and you'll sacrifice speed.. like hello can't they tell just by looking at me that I'm no athlete.. I just wanted an average ladies bike to transport me and my books for the 5km.

Anyway I've just discovered your blog. Enjoying it so far. Please keep it up.

5:36 AM, November 14, 2005

Blogger Yours truly, kids said...

fantastic blog and writing style. it gave me a couple of ideas for an anti-consumerism project. it's a shame that you don't write in it anymore.

10:11 AM, March 13, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have written some pretty good articles but it's sad to see no more new posts. Hope you have fallen prey to the CONSUMERS DITCH!

2:56 PM, July 10, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back when I had time for that sort of thing (pre-kids) I used to do short triathalons. I was a back-of-the-pack guy, and I was always amazed at how many fatsos there were who were on bikes that cost over $2000.
I think that's a major part of this up-selling consumerism. We want to have a hobby, but we really have no time for it, so we substitute spending for participation.
You can see it in any hobby. The teens with expensive guitars and amps that can't play a chord. The skiers with the latest parabolic skis that ski once a year.

10:45 AM, October 18, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good blog articles. Keep posting.

I have just hit the 'enough' point myself today. I just spent a very rainy three day holiday spending most of my time watching foxtel. I was just gobsmacked at the number of 'Lifestyle' programs there were touting the necessity of things such as having three bathrooms or a massive kitchen with dual ovens, and don't get me started on cooking programs. Having seen now what foxtel has to offer (nothing), I know for sure now I do not want it.

Interestingly, the more horrified I became as I watched this stuff, the more interested my wife became. So now I'm ready to opt out ... hopefully I can convince my wife the same (or at least come part of the way). Wish me luck :-)

11:19 PM, January 28, 2012


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