A recent article in News.com revealed that the racing cycles in the Tour de France cost more than your car ..... yes, certainly my 9 year old Fairlane and don't kid yourself, your brand new coup too !!
The article cites $20,000 and that's just their first bike! The old adage of "get on your bike" has a whole new meaning!
Melbourne's Total Rush bike store owner Simon Coffin said that it was the subtle differences that made all the difference for professionals.
"To the untrained eye an entry level carbon bike doesn't actually look that much different. What it comes down to is the construction of the frame, the quality of the carbon and the quality of the resin that's used," Simon Coffin explained.
But that's the world cycle scene – this is repeated again and again in a whole host of sports. The American football helmets (Gridiron) just to name one item have a huge price tag and once a footballer retires, as strange as it might seem, if he was any good, those helmets increase in value exponentially, yes $450,000 worth!
Try baseball bats on for size. My wife Delma and I played baseball for a season when we lived in Sydney. We used the club bats. We each grabbed the one that felt comfortable, in Delma's case, being little, not too heavy, whereas I liked those mid weight bats, a bit like the mid range weighted hockey stick (my winter sport).
But those baseball bats are phenomenal in price range and again, a retired baseball player's baseball bat is an asset. Worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Forget the house!
Many an Australian cricket tragic have scored any number of cricket memorabilia and items one used / carried / bowled / handled / touched - by Sir Donald Bradman likewise have an astonishing value.
I recall at the grand opening of the tourism theme park 'Australia's Bush Orchestra' in Moruya in 1996 by Greg Chappell, the MC on the occasion, swiped my colourful cricket chaplain's braces and bow-tie and gave them to Greg Chappell to auction off at a charity event – the Australian cricket chaplain's braces and bow tie! Greg Chappell pocketed them and did so!
In May last year I discussed memorabilia and the nature of exotic items that cost an arm and a leg and the value associated to those collectables who have a love for them.
Matters for consideration
The economy has always played a part in such "exotic" investment items and there comes a time when even those who are well-heeled baulk at paying what might seem exorbitant prices for such items. There are additional costs of insurance, security and travel that need to be added on to the initial purchase price for "exotic" investments.
Friends of ours in the eighties were advised to invest in "sheet stamps" (Australia Post) and had amassed $20,000 value of this exotic investment. They failed to insure them, nor did they place them in a bank vault. Their home was burgled and their exotic investment was stolen never to be recovered or reimbursed. This gave them such a shot in reality, they that in a matter of months they went to Bible College and became missionaries.
What is of value to one person may be of no interest or of little interest to someone else. The long retired inaugural Victorian cricket team chaplain the Reverend Barrie Sutton was given a signed cricket bat by then Australian and Victorian Dean Jones. Barrie had this bat placed into a glass enclosed case on his wall. To Barry it had great significance. Those without cricket knowledge or appreciation would not give such exotic investments a second thought.
Likewise I gave a family heirloom to the Bradman Museum way back in 2005, an old wind-up gramophone with a 78 LP with "Our Don Bradman" on one side and "Our Eleven" on the other. Rina Hore told me a couple of years ago it was on display. Sir Donald Bradman sent me a typed letter as the Australian Cricket team Chaplain after his wife died and again, such letters have value.
Exotic items have value to those who collect them. There are match-box car collections, match-box cover collections, military medal collections, old bottle collections, in fact collections of any kind that have value to those people who value them. Some of these things have enormous monetary value – I might even draw art into this scenario where art collectors value one artist over another or one genre of art over another.
As a former locomotive engineman on the NSW Government railways I have an old steam engine "steam gauge" that is hanging in pride and place in my office and on one occasion I put in one-bay thinking it might be of some value. Alas, all I got were several emails saying it was over priced at $50.
But what is of everlasting value are not items where rust and moth destroy, rather that which is of lasting value and this is precisely the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Salvation.
In my 17 years as the Australian Cricket Team Chaplain (Ret 2000) it was obvious a second coach was not what the chaplaincy appointment was associated with and I stayed well away from such issues. However in the many secular media interviews (of which there were many) I spoke rather of the holistic life - which very much included that which - we could neither see or touch - loyalty, honesty, integrity, ambition, trust, love, fulfillment, faith in Jesus Christ ....
No racing cycle or collectable however much monetary value it might draw at an auction compares to the peace that passeth all understanding.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html