If I were Rich…..

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And I mean, rich, like in wealthy/money rich, I’d do a lot of different things. I’d buy up a bunch of farmland all over the world, and then only eat the food that I grow for myself. I’d have fresh fruits all over my house, at arm’s length, and be able to snack on them on a whim. I’d have fresh juice at every meal, plus snacks.

Of course, I’d buy a personal jet. That would be on par with the fresh fruit. There is nothing more luxurious than being able to travel anywhere you want at anytime you feel the need. I’d fly my friends all over the world to ride in cool places, to see great things and experiences.

I’d also have a whole group of guys around at all times, to train whenever, where ever I want. Wouldn’t it be cool if on any given day, you could go out and ride at race pace for 2 hours in a group of 20? Since I”m not rich, I’d like to get that job, training friend of the rich guy. Is there such a job?

And I’d have my own personal dentist that only worked on me and my friends.

I’d still ride a titanium frame, but would only ride on sewups. Screw the clinchers. Nice, new, Vittoria tubulars on all rides. Actually, everyone that rode with me would be on Vittorias.

If I was really rich, all my friends would be pretty rich. There would not be much downside to helping all my lifelong friends out. Plus, it would give them the ability to hang out with me more.

But, on the flip side, I’ve had the opportunity the last few years to hang out with a few very rich people. And let me tell you, by observation, it ain’t all that great. There are a million different people trying to get a piece of you at all times. You have to do a ton of things that you are not the least bit interested in. And you seem to have to hang out with a bunch of other people that are phony, which makes you kind of phony because of it.

You don’t really have control of your day, because someone else control it. Or circumstance controls it, I’m not sure, but it isn’t yours.

On top of that, you don’t really know who to trust, not that you always did before you had a lot of money. But the untrustworthy people tend to come out of the woodwork as soon as there is a crazy amount of money involved.

Now that I think about it, the fruit and jet aren’t worth the downsides. I’ll just stay as I am.


19 thoughts on “If I were Rich…..

  1. SalRuibal

    You’re right Steve, you are rich. Rich in the love of a good woman who puts up with you, rich in good friends to ride with and drink with. You live in one of last places in the US that hasn’t been disfigured by overpopulation and pollution. You were born with DNA that allows you to perform athletically at the highest levels. You are educated enough to know what you don’t know. You can fix a truck, a bike, a roof and a broken heart. Just being able to ride a bike has made me richer for all the experiences I have had. If I died today I would have no regrets except not being with my loved ones (until they catch up with me). When you go to Heaven, I’ll be on your wheel.

  2. bw

    I dunno – I think I’m ready to give the whole “being rich” thing a try. I’ve already been poor. Where do I sign up?

  3. Jeff Miskimins

    Maybe we should all ‘sign up’ by showing up at Steve’s house for the next group ride? Sound good? I thought so. See ya there!

  4. J

    Well you do seem to travel anywhere you like on a whim. How many times have you flown to California in the last year to go train? Or to Colorado or Wisconsin for skiing? How many houses and pieces of land do you own? Apple stock, etc? Rhetorical questions but they make an impact on an outsiders perspective.

    Not hatin’, just sayin’. But lets get real, You’re rich.

  5. Steve Tilford Post author

    J-I obviously don’t live a conventual lifestyle. Compared to all humans on the planet, I am super rich ($$$), but compared to “normal” Americans, hardly. I live my life not depending or participating always in today’s economy. I virtually never pay someone for a service/repair. I drive way more than I fly. I choose what is important for me and spend my money for that, not just because.

    Yes, I owe some Apple stock. And property. My property in Kansas adds up to about a two car garage in California or a garden shed in Aspen. I live where it is cheap and then travel “on a whim”. That is how I’ve always done it.

  6. Dave G

    Can I be first in line to be your private dentist? Providing ideal care to just a handful of patients sounds like a win/win situation for the provider and patient. Funny though that this would be the opposite of a nationalized healthcare or even Obamacare system…

  7. The Cyclist

    Truly rich is he who is free. Free to step off the hamster wheel and go ride his bicycle.

  8. channel_zero

    I don’t know Steve, what’s a “normal” American?

    If you use median, it’s hard to say because the richest Americans skew the sample heavily.
    if you use mean, you are probably doing well. Again, the wealthiest heavily affect the population.
    If you use mode you are *definitely* doing better than most.

    Take chop off the sample set at 3 standard deviations and I’d guess you are doing fantastically well on all measures, mean, median, mode.

  9. H Luce

    I’d say you’re spot on with this. I know a family in Kansas City who have land holdings in various states – extensive land holdings, at that, enough to grow their own food and get their own fruit and so on – and they have a private jet and use it to go various places at will ($5,000 per hour of flight time, btw). They are, of course, fighting amongst themselves over money. The patriarch blew his brains out after a heated argument with his wife over the stresses of getting old one day, two of his sons bankrupted themselves … and on and on. Another person I know came into a $100 million trust, which he managed to reduce to about $30 million, in dealings with the dodgy sorts of characters you mention. He’s now engaged in drinking himself to death out in Hollywood; if you see him at the Polo Lounge, he’ll buy you and everyone else in the house enough high-dollar champagne to get you as plastered as he is. He lives within walking distance of the place, because his license has been revoked. Money does make things easier up to a certain point, then it makes life much more difficult.

  10. JPrumm

    I think you have a good perspective on your life and how you have lived it. I also think you are one of the few professional athletes who truly appreciate the lifestyle you live. You live the opposite of a certain ex-cyclist and it is truly apparent you deserve and worked for your lifestyle.

  11. orphan

    I know some guys that thought they were going to be rich. Now they are setting in a federal pen.

  12. lars

    I think that you’re already “rich” based on the experiences that you’ve had and the stoke for the cycling lifestyle that you consistently share with others.
    Next time you’re down in Austin look up this guy (Benedict Wheeler) and you’ll have some fun and another definition of “rich”.

  13. Dog

    I once was an early employee of an internet company back in the dot.com days. When we went public, and I became a paper millionaire. And all I could do each day was watch my e-trade stock ticker and obsess over fluctuations of tens of thousands of dollars in my new “net worth”. I couldn’t get any work done. And it was agonizing to watch after Lucent tanked (and brought the rest of us down with them) in April of 2000. My millions went to hundreds of thousands, and within a few months, tens of thousands. By the end of the 180 day lockup, I was now only worth $80K in stock. And all I could do was sit tight and tell myself that if I sat it out, it would reverse itself. It never did. The work dried up, as most of our clients were dot.coms. We spent the summer of 2000 twiddling our thumbs, wondering when the market would come back. It never did. Then we spent months wondering when they’d start canning us. By November, they assured us that would never happen. We were sitting on hundreds of millions in cash. The market would turn and our clients would come back. Just wait. And we just sat and wondered what would happen. No work. Just worry.

    By December, we found out. 400 of us layed-off. One week before Xmas. And the stock went down to just $5 a share. On the last trading day of the year, I took my papers to the CPA. And he told me that I had to go back home and sell ALL of my stock on that very day (@ $3/share). And I countered: “That would leave me with just $8k!”. He replied: “It’s $8k you never had before. And it’s better than a $300K tax bill if you don’t go home and sell this stock immediately!” And I did. And I got my $8K. And many of my peers who were not layed-off (and were locked-out of trading due to the layoffs) got stuck with their $300K tax bills. It was called “Alternative Minimum Tax – AMT.

    And so I wasn’t rich anymore. And thank-fucking-God. Good riddance. Seriously.

  14. Tomek

    “I’d still ride a titanium frame” – if I may ask, why a titanium frame?
    I’ve never owned one before, but I’m currently looking for a frame/bike.

    ps. thanks for sharing your richness with us every day, on this blog.

  15. Steve Tilford Post author

    I rode carbon for a long time. I’m not so much into these disposable frames. Every time I sneezed at one, it broke. If you crash in a road race and don’t have another bike, you’re done. Doesn’t really make much sense to me.


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