Friday, August 10, 2007

A clear sign I'm now in mid life...

I read this story and instead of thinking "oh my god that's nuts" I thought "wow, that would be cool..."

So, is it mid-life crisis? Am I not willing to admit that I'm 40 and probably shouldn't be thinking about entering an 8-day mountain bike race that, according to the web site, covers "a distance of roughly 600 km (385 miles) and a vertical gain of 19,5000 m (65,000 ft.)"?

Well, looking at the pictures there are definitely a few riders older than me...I mentioned it to the wife and her first response was "Yuck!", followed by "that sounds expensive". Well,'s 600 Euros to enter, which at this second works out to about $825. That basically covers food and transportation of your stuff each day of the race. And maybe a floor to sleep on, but that doesn't sound too comfortable.

So you'd have to add airfare - figure, what, $1,000 for that, maybe? Then train transportation to the start and back to the airport, maybe another $200 - 500 depending on where you flew in. Then if you want to sleep in comfort and eat real food rather than the pasta and tomato sauce the race provides, throw in a couple more hundred a night during the ride, figure $2,000 total. Then you'd want a week in a villa somewhere in Italy, preferably a villa staffed with professional massage therapists, so add another $2,000 for that, plus an extra week's food and tourist stuff at, oh, $1,000. So that adds up to, um, around $7,500.

Yeah, that is kind of expensive...especially when the CNN guy who did the ride has a photo of his bike, a $2,000 Specialized Stumpjumper, that he refers to as "one of the least expensive bikes in the race". Hmm...maybe my $750 Marin won't cut it. So we'd better throw in another $2,500 for a new bike, taking it to a nice $10,000 vacation.

And that's not counting getting the wife and kids over there too, so yeah...too expensive.

A guy can dream, though. And while dreaming, he can look at photos of this year's race. Fine photos like these:

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