Dollars per mile (dpm)

With no Whole Foods in sight, and a quick thousand feet up and over before State College, PA, a quick snack was in order.  I had some peanuts on hand, and uncooked lentils and rice, but it seemed the local ice cream/deli/convenience store was calling my name.  I was barely off the bike before I spotted a sign advertising two hot dogs for $1.50.  Add a gang of condiments and a quart of chocolate milk, and I had both quick energy (sugar: lactose, dextrose, fructose, and more fructose), and something for a few miles down the road (fat and protein).  The best part, the bill was $3.00 even.

Of course I can eat healthier, and I can certainly eat cheaper, but considering time and enjoyment alongside health and expense, it wasn’t a decision that was going to break the bank or body, and I made it to State College just fine.  The quart of milk, alone, provided 32g fat, 32g protein, with a full daily dose of calcium and vitamin D.  Milk has become one of my favorite snack time choices, as I often want something sweet and refreshing, but really don’t need to buy any sugared, colored water (Gatorade, soda, “juice”), and could benefit from the additional food-energy in milk or even soymilk.  In rural Pennsylvania, the most local items in a convenience store are often pretzels, old-fashioned potato chips, and milk.  Finally, some small-town groceries have paltry food choices.  The best I could do in a Sheetz convenience store the other day were a few bananas, salted peanuts, and milk.

Dollars per mile is fun.  Beans win the food category, but dried beans are complicated on a bike trip.  Lentils and rice (easier to cook) are close as are all grains; oats, peanuts, raisins, eggs, turkey dogs, and yogurt are next.  Fresh foods are harder, but bananas are cheap, despite coming from Central America.  Apples in season are a dime a dozen as are potatoes, onions, cabbage, and other hardy greens.  Fruits and vegetables in season can be affordable, and delicious.  Tires: Schwalbe Marathons compete with Marathon Plus…the Plus costs almost 30% more, so does it last that much longer?  It might.  Brake pads:  Kool Stop smooth post cantilever pads in salmon color might outlast most tires.  However, replaceable cartridge pads might win because they are cheaper per refill.  Lights: If you ride more than a little bit, dynamo lighting will quickly become cheaper than batteries, not to mention more reliable.  Shoes: I get an average of six months from a pair of Adidas Samba shoes.  My last pair cost $30.  Clothing: I’m not wearing underwear.  Is that weird?…or cost-saving?

Any good dpm suggestions?

Currently sitting outside Freeze-Thaw Cycles in State College, PA.  One of the better bike shops in the country.  Go out of your way to see it next time you are in central PA.

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4 thoughts on “Dollars per mile (dpm)

  1. Glad to hear you are eating well! With no golden arches in sight, I think milk and hot dogs are a good alternative. I’m enjoying hearing about your travels and maybe one day we will join you.

  2. Pingback: Gearstuff, sometimes we overthink it | gypsy by trade

  3. I’ve been following you and Lael for the past couple years, and absolutely love what you do. I’ve begun to peruse your archives as I am pretty much addicted to your blog. I smiled when I ran across this post, because I know that little convenience store en route to State College, PA. It’s about 7 miles from my house, and still as cheap as ever. And the guys at Freeze Thaw Cycles are good friends. I’m glad you enjoyed your time in central PA, and if you and Lael are ever back in the area, you have a place to stay with us. Thank you to you both, you’re an inspiration.

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