5th April 2018 / Comments (0)

Food, glorious food! The hidden cost of cycling

In my day job, I spend a lot of time looking at figures and statistics and it can become pretty boring. Once in a while, I indulge myself in (nerdy) little, numeric, whimsies of which this is one – albeit with cycling in mind.

Before I get too involved, this is all a bit of fun. My calculations and assumptions are ‘back of a fag packet’ and have not been checked or scrutinised. So bear with me. Warning – on no account let the person who does the food shopping see this!

Damned lies and statistics

What I wanted to discover was how many extra weeks food shopping are consumed annually by an average cyclist. As I have more data on myself than anyone else, I am that average cyclist.

The period covered was January 1st 2017 to December 31st 2017. It wasn’t a brilliant year for riding as I only covered 4,200 miles in 108 outings.

Calorie consumption (per ride) was taken from my records on Strava. While I don’t know how accurate their calculations are, I have had to assume they are more or less right.

Food - hidden cost of cycling.

John’s food intake on long rides was starting to get ridiculous…

The Money Advice Service calculated that in 2017, the average weekly spend (per couple) on food is £53.00. For the sake of this exercise, I have assumed that all of the food bought in the week is consumed within each (shopping) period.

Meanwhile, the NHS tell us that an active male needs 2,500 calories per day to maintain a stable weight whereas an active, adult female requires 2,000 calories. Simple maths tells us therefore, that the male is consuming 56% of the total calories per week.

The daily spend on food per couple, is £7.57. Of which the male consumes 56% or £4.24. Divide £4.24 by 2,500 and the cost per calorie is roughly 17 pence.

Over the year, my total calories burned (while cycling) came to 214,373. Multiply 214,373 by .17 and then divide by 100 to get the total annual cost of cycling related food in £s. The answer is £364.43.

Calculate the weekly spend for the male – (£4.24 x 7) = £29.68. One last calculation. Divide 364.43 by 29.68 and the answer is 12.27.

So what does it add up to?

You are therefore costing your household (well….on this occasion I am) an extra 12.27 weeks of food shopping a year.

Caveat – this figure does not include the cake/scone/gel/jelly bean offset which we all know cost ‘nothing’!

James and cake.

James expresses his delight at the news that you can have your cake and eat it.

Last modified: 5th April 2018