Zoomer Boomer: All for the price of a cup of coffee | SkyHiNews.com

Zoomer Boomer: All for the price of a cup of coffee

John Ridell writes a business column and a fun, Zoomer-Boomer outdoor column for the Sky-Hi News.

Zooming and Booming do come at a cost. As our generation of Zoomer Boomers runs headlong into the reality of retirement, as a generation, we are sitting on top of the largest estimated pile of disposable retirement income ever amassed. As you might expect, the Zoomers’ propensity for activity requires purchasing proper equipment. What you might not expect, however, is the gap in Zoomer’s expectations for what this proper equipment might cost.

Consider for a moment that many Zoomers initially purchased bicycles for their children over thirty or forty years ago. Their frame of reference for that purchase was around twenty to fifty dollars. Even today, kid’s bikes can be purchased at the big box stores for around one hundred dollars. Imagine the shock to the system when confronted with the price of today’s bicycles. Please also keep in mind that this is a group acutely aware of the danger of shocks to the system. Whole industries revolve around treating such shocks!

In the pursuit of being an informed consumer, many magazine perusals highlight the various price points of bicycles with $1000 appearing to be a “sweet spot.” Not to minimize the value of $1000, but from a pure value perspective, savvy bicycle consumers will tell you that with the advances in materials and components, this same quality bicycle just five years ago would have been at least double the cost.

Zoomers sometimes understand this material march of technology better when it is related to artificial joints. From Teflon to titanium to carbon fiber, the advancement in materials for aging bones and joints is remarkably the same as that found in the bicycling industry. Much of the same technology and design advances can also be found within the ski industry. There may even be a connection between all of the different chain lubes found today with the explosion of craft breweries and distilleries. Just a different type of oil!

Yet sales people will attest that there still is an age-related reluctance or expression of incredulousness with many Zoomers when it comes to purchasing good equipment. The art of bridging the sales communication gap will be a topic of another column, but suffice it to say a language gap exists. In the meantime, perhaps it may be worthwhile to look at this investment in personal health and enjoyment in a slightly different lifestyle light.

Please consider the following. The previously mentioned $1000 bicycle will, with only minimum and basic maintenance, last at least ten years. This averages out to $100 a year or a little under $2 a week. Now to put this into terms that the generation that made Starbucks a household name can understand, this is less than a skinny latte. So, for less than the cost of a nonfat latte at Starbucks or most any other coffee shop, you could be riding on a brand-new bicycle. Now is this not a great deal?

Of course, the guilt associated with buying a grande café mocha, extra cream, disappears rather quickly after it is consumed. The guilt with buying a $1000 bicycle and not riding it, however, does not go away so easily. There is nothing sadder than a brand-new bicycle not being ridden unless it is your brand-new bicycle not being ridden. So now, being the guilt and success driven generation that we are, we now have another justification for buying and riding the bike as opposed to merely drinking the coffee.

Rumor has it that some bicycle shops have gleaned on to this economic reality. In fact, some are offering financing in the forms of coffee. After all, four cups of coffee are like a month of payments. As they say at Starbucks and the Rocky Mountain Roastery, “Enjoy!” and then go check out your local bike shop to see what a few cups of coffee can get you.

Following a successful international business career, John Riddell turned his attention to small business/entrepreneurial pursuits that included corporate turn-arounds, start-ups, teaching as an adjunct business school professor, authoring award winning business and sports columns, and serving as VP for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce directing its Center for Entrepreneurial Growth. He can be contacted at jfriddell@msn.com.

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