The Art Of N+1 ... Five Ways To Weasel Yourself Onto A New Bike
The proud owner of many bikes himself, regular Bicycling Australia reader Dennis Shortis has contributed this light-hearted look at the many ways people go about their next purchase. Or could he be serious?
You've seen it. You love it. This one is special. So special, that despite the fact that you already have three, or four, or more bikes at home, in your mind you have already bought this new one.
Now comes the fun part, justifying the purchase. If you are single, or plan on being single soon, then go ahead and bring that shiny speed rocket home, park it in the lounge room and drool over it. If, like most of us, you are wedded to your partner then you have some serious negotiations ahead of you. So here are some tactics to help with that negotiation.
Lying - It's been done. The classic is "this bike will pay for itself through prize money." Sure it will. Or there is the classic rounding technique that can see a $5000 bike cost little more than $2000 when you are explaining the individual component costs to your partner.
The trick with lying is to not lie. You have to convince yourself that your argument is the truth. That's how people get through lie detector tests, and you already know from past experience there is no better lie detector than a skeptical partner. So enter the negotiation on firm ground in your own mind, or you will quickly find yourself neck deep in quick sand.
Begging - It's been done too. Everything from down on your knees with clasped hands and tears running down your face, to every waking moment asking your partner "Please..." This is actually a surprisingly effective technique. Often your partner will just view you as so pathetic, or they will be so desperate for some peace, they will just say "go buy the bloody thing".
Of course, you will have traded some of your soul away, but you won't care about that when you have the best bike in the peloton.
Trade-offs - Again this has been done. However this can be less effective than you might hope. You've probably used this tactic before and not lived up to your side of the bargain. If you were dumb, you probably traded a night out with your mates for household chores, something like cleaning the bathroom.
Then you've either not cleaned the bathroom, or you haven't done it immediately the next morning, (even though you were hungover), or your pathetic attempt didn't live up to expectations. The important thing with trade-offs is your track record. If you've never used this tactic before, this should be the first arrow you pull from your negotiation quiver.
If your partner hesitates in accepting the deal, then you can immediately pull the "Don't you trust me” line and sulk off into a corner, thus eliciting immediate regret from your partner, and full support for your upcoming purchase. If you do have a poor track record in the trade-off department, it might be easiest just to trade dollars. A typical $5000 bike purchase usually translates into a $7500 payment to your partner, either in jewellery, or holidays, or just cold hard cash.
Specialisation - Probably the least effective technique if your partner doesn't cycle themselves. However give it a go if begging fails, and you can't afford the cash for a cold hard trade-off. This technique requires you to convince your partner that this next purchase will fill a niche that none of your other bikes already does.
For instance, you might have an expensive race bike, and this new one could be your training bike thus ensuring that your expensive race bike lasts longer (effectively saving money in the long term). There are so many useful niches that you might be able to convince your partner this bike will fill. Try: Wet Weather Bike, Commuter, Steelie, Race Bike, Race Bike Backup, Training Bike, Long Distance Bike, Coffee Shop Ride Bike.
Timing - Sometimes timing plays an important part in your negotiation. If you happen to come into a small windfall this can make the negotiation easier. Interestingly the type of windfall makes a big difference. A lotto windfall doesn't usually help as that is considered "we" money. ie, "You've won $5000 in lotto - we can go on a cruise."
Far better if the windfall is an inheritance. You can pull the classic, "Mum knew I loved cycling, she would have wanted me to spend this on a new bike so that every time I ride it I'd think fondly of her." There is no negative response that a partner can come back with that won't make them sound petty.
Just remember, they don't do a lot of riding in prison, so hurrying the arrival of the inheritance along is strongly discouraged.
At the end of the day you have to remember that relationships are more important than cycling, so it might be best just to store your new purchase at the coach's place and just never upset your partner by telling them.
Over To You: What Is Your Advice Or Experience So Far As Adding Another Bike To The Fleet Goes? Have Your Say Below!