A bet the incentive to cycle

Geoff and Gerry look at a spreadsheet on a computer screen

Number crunching: true to form, accountants Geoff (left) and Gerry (right) set up their cycling challenge with targets and budgets.

What do cycling and being an accountant have in common? Apart from both being a bit of a gamble at times keeping things upright and not falling off they both can be the collection and interpretation of figures and data.

Back in June 2010 for a bet two work colleagues Geoff Curnick and Gerry Truscott were both faced with being over half a century in age and working in sedentary jobs.. Between them both they decided to ride 400km to and from work, and being by profession both accountants, spreadsheets were developed with budget estimates kilometres covered, budgeted times, variances, graphs etc (sad but true they admit). The bet was a massive Tattslotto ticket if they were to fall short of what at the time seemed a massive total of riding to achieve for a month.

They both met target, achieving their goal for June 2010 but decided to continue the bet with variances being made above the line in credit but not below of debit in kilometres. Both Geoff and Gerry commented there is nothing more refreshing than riding home in the dark and rain into a stiff headwind – but it is worth it in the long term.

Part of the agreement is that they don’t succumb to the expensive road bikes and lycra (could be to meet budget on the spreadsheet) and have kept to the trackie pants and loose tops. The only upgrade was some clip in pedals for one of them and this has caused some anxious moments when forgetting that they are clipped in and tip over sideways.

In October 2010 Gerry upgraded his bike to hybrid special for $250. Not to be outdone Geoff, being a true competitor, went for the technological advantage with a $500 investment. Geoff confesses that the update to gears that worked and components that were free and ran well changed the experience big time.

Instead of a drive to and from work both Geoff and Gerry are now hooked on riding whenever they can to work – always the long way so as to get the kilometres needed. They are very fortunate to have an employer and workplace that have a shower and storage for clean clothes to be kept on the premises. What is really pleasing about meeting Geoff and Gerry is neither of them have to ride, they could drive vehicles to and from work. No real extra time is required it just means an hour or a half earlier out of bed in the morning, an extra 30 minutes on the way home.

After riding to work they both always feel more awake and active which has to be a benefit for their employer and their own health and well being. Other obvious benefits are a reduction in weight which may well be due to the speed they ride being good for fat burning only averaging around 20 kph.

As the months have come and gone the budgeted figure to achieve has increased together with the actual kilometres travelled.

“In May 2011 the kilometres for the month were over 1000 km each and the bet remains a simple tattslotto ticket”.

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