Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Triple Threat (to my wallet)

2012 Jelly Belly team Issue Focus Izalco bike :)
Outdoor athletic pursuits truly enrich my life.  However, they typically take a toll on 
the wallet. To make matters worse, I am very much into running, cycling (road and mountain) and climbing.  Running isn't too bad but the cycling and climbing have proved to be very expensive.  Even when I get a deal, it can often put a sizable dent in my bank account.  For example, a friend of mine who is well connected to the Jelly Belly Cycling Team got me a 2012 Jelly Belly team Issue Focus Izalco bike at a significant discount (it is a thing of beauty) but it still was a huge expense.  I've found the key is to figure out what you need and what you want and then to determine what you can buy used and what is important to buy new. I've purchase a lot of my gear on Craigslist and Ebay and have been very happy with the results.  For items that I use less frequently or items that aren't prone to dire consequences in the event of failure, I typically buy used.  For the rest of the items, I regularly check sales at my local outdoor gear shops (particularly at the end of seasons) and monitor websites like rei.com departmentofgoods.com, and nashbar.com.  It is particularly good to go through your credit card's website, as you can often get an additional 1-10% off your purchase.  Finally, check the websites if the products that you use as these companies often offer sponsorships which may include cash, gear, product discounts and free or discounted event entry fees.These things don't make participation in running, climbing and cycling cheap, but it does keep one from going bankrupt.

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