This is a story about me and my bicycle.
Now, I truly love getting out there and going on a long, leg-burning ride, especially in the beautiful surroundings of British Columbia that Progressa calls home. I will never forget some of the moments of pride and confidence I have felt after pushing myself and the bike to conquer new distances, elevations and challenges. My bike was aÂ bigÂ investment – but it was an investment in my physical and mental health.
One of the things I’ve learned about being a cyclist is the volatilityÂ of that investment. I’ve had flat or damaged tires twice or more in the same, incredibly unlucky week. I’ve had my rear derailleur tear straight from its moorings for no good reason. Screw threads, oh, those strip out. Pins fail. Cables pinch and break. Clothing gets torn. And of course, there are those scary moments where rider meets pavement. Not to mention, sometimes you find that little doodad in the shop that’s just so shiny,Â how could you not want to take it home?
The fact is, the operating costs of the hobby started to pile up. Every time I went to the shop for a repair or a tune-up, or to replace something damaged, I winced just a little bit. My investment was starting toÂ affect my financial health, despite its positive influence on my day-to-day life. I convinced myself that there had to be a better way to keep my pursuit of cycling alive while remaining more financially responsible about it, so I made a change.
Learning and Communication
I had to learn to manage things for myself. I set about using free resources like Youtube to begin practicingÂ the mundane repairs that would save money at the shop, and figuring out the adjustments that helped meld the bike’s geometry to my body like a glove. I read, voraciously. And most importantly of all, I communicated with other cyclists both in person and on the internet, sharing tips and strategies and coming to understand the bike and its maintenance better through them. This was not only a lifesaver for my spending habits – the knowledgeÂ made me appreciate and enjoy riding all the more.
Finding the Right Tools
Rather than buying new parts to replace the old ones, I bit the bullet on one last expense: a really solid set of tools that I could use to get on the right track towards managing and maintaining the bike (and controlling the spending) independently. Tools, unlike many more consumable items,Â areÂ highly durable. The expense of the kit, when compared against the value and confidence that came from learning how to use them well, was made far more reasonable (and has amortized out over many years since.)
Moving forward with financial health is a process much like the one I undertook with the bike. Anyone engaged in this process mayÂ have to learn new skills and have access to the right tools. It might take a while before one findsÂ the right solution. And it certainly helps to have a community around you with great advice, willing to help out along the way.
At Progressa we seek to provide these kinds of solutions, and we’re creating a community for people across Canada to learn and get their financial futures moving forward. Call us at 1-855-723-LOAN or visit us online to learn more.