Eric and I got back to the woods today, with a trip out to "Otis AFB" in Falmouth, MA (quotes because we'd get shot at if we actually went onto the base. We were just sorta in the woods behind it). In the course of our adventure, which included three hours of hammering swoopy singletrack (and yes we hammered real nice), we managed to eat three bagel sandwiches, a bottle of accelerade, a gatorade, an iced tea and a whole large pizza.
Fearing the wrath of my housemate if I ate all the food in the house and didn't replace it, I went to the grocery store and did some stocking up on the way home:
As I carded the $266 bill, I got to wondering "how much does this little sport of ours really cost us [in food]?"
Let's assume my base metabolism is about 2400 Cal/day. This is probably a little low but it makes for round numbers. Now let's assume I average about 800 Cal/hr while training (for me, this corresponds to a heart rate in the 130s while riding). By these numbers, I burn 700 Cal extra for every hour I'm training. If I'm training in one form or another about 10 hr/wk on average throughout the year, that's 700 x 10 x 52 = 364,000 Calories.
I did a little internet hunting to figure out what 1000 calories might cost in terms of different things. In power bars, it's about $4.17, in rice it's about $0.25 and in a mix of green vegetables it's about $36. For the sake of argument, I'm going to take the lowball number of $2/1000 Cal (this is roughly what low income Americans spend). By that math, my cycling habit costs $728/year simply in extra calories I burn during training, not including an increased base metabolism, race fees, and parts I break (which, including today's chain, is already over $200 this season).
Anyone want to take up couch surfing?