Cost / Savings of riding a bike.

Discussion in 'General' started by abcdpeterson, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. There is definitly a $$ savings in riding your bicycle to/from work/school.
    If your bicycle gets stolen, then there is a financial loss.
    ....
    take it a bit further, if it takes you 20 minutes to drive to work, vs. cycling it in say 33 minutes, well that is a 13 minute difference(cost) in time. What is your time worth ? Some/many think their time is exponentially worth lots, thus that is why many do not cycle to/from work/school. Plus many figure that they have a monthly car payment, and that they are paying.. say $3 per day to have insurance (if these services/costs are not used.. then its a waist). Some also think that its "not convienent" to cycle. Convienence to one person can mean something totaly different to someone else. Cycling in general, to most people, is not easy/ or convienent activity. If your consistant with it, the months/years roll on... you become stronger, leaner, and a smarter rider.

    Personally, I dont recommend cycling to/from work when the commute is ... say over 10 miles each way. For example, if the ride is 5 miles one way, I could possibly do it in say 22 minutes. If I drove it, it would probably take me 15 minutes.... not much difference. Plus, when most people ride for 1hr+, when they reach there destination they may be sweating like dogs, energy tapped, etc. Optimally, a ride of 20-35 mintues is plenty enough to raise the heart level, for some good cardio, energize you, yet when your done you wont feel mega-burned out energy wise. As the distance increases, the time it takes to cycle it increases. A 1 hr drive in a car(covering say 50 miles) would take most cyclists 2+ hours to accomplish.

    Be safe, know your limites , yet don't be afraid to push yourself. A penny saved, is a penny earned. I've ridden to work school one way of 2 miles, 6 miles, 20 miles. I prefer a daily cycle commute of 5-6 miles each way. However, in 2009 I may be commuting about 8-9 miles each way to work/school ... which is still very do-able by bike. Rock on peoples :Banane35:
     
  2. snax

    snax New Member

    Even people with really short commutes can save significant money by biking - primarily by not driving their car at all and canceling insurance on it.

    This last summer, I commuted about 10 weeks by bicycle alone (but being married, we did keep the other car fully insured and drove it for other purposes during that time). Even for the relatively cheap to insure Ford Escort at $38/mo, that alone was close to $100 in savings with the trade-off of me getting exercise that I otherwise was not making the time for. The total impact to my commute time both ways was a mere 20 minutes for the 8 mile round trip. (Yeah, I was still not even close to getting an aerobic benefit.) Anyway, for that 10 weeks x 8 miles per day, I rode about 400 miles which is about one tank of gas in the Escort at an average of $3.50/gal then, or about $40 in fuel savings.

    So the total savings, not accounting for minimal wear and tear on the car saved, was about $140. Yeah, that's not much, but it was also extremely easy to do.

    The route I take is virtually totally devoid of traffic except for a 1/2 mile stretch, so I get plenty of fresh air. And as non-aerobic as I have allowed it to be, it is still exercise that helped me to lose 10 lbs over the summer. It also provided me a very relaxed ride home to decompress from the stresses of work - assuring that I never arrived home with a chip on my shoulder.

    I should also throw in that during that same period, I also built a 50cc 2-stroke kit on a mountain bike frame that I rode about 50% of the time. I never really needed the motor kit and it really only saves about 5 minutes one way over the bicycle, but it is mostly just more fun and gets about 80 mpg. (Still no insurance to worry about however.)

    I forgot to mention that I simply won't ride any kind of bicycle to work at this time of year for safety reasons. The 1/2 mile stretch of road that has all the traffic has virtually no shoulder and riding that stretch home in the rain with traffic whizzing by at 50+ mph at night is just asking to be punted into the ditch. Even the motored bike can't cover that distance fast enough for my comfort.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  3. abcdpeterson

    abcdpeterson Well-Known Member

    Good points. It is hard to compare Biking vs car due to the amount of variables.

    Here is 1 more variable with amount of time a given distance takes. Traffic.
    (note: I am not riding bike much at this time, maybe this spring)
    I need to commute at rush hour. During rush hour my 13 mile drive is 45 min on average.
    Riding bike rush hour is not a factor, I can rid that 13 miles in 50-55 min.
     
  4. JHZR2

    JHZR2 Well-Known Member

    I would not get rid of my cars. I would use them less.

    Bicycling my 9 mile commute, because of routing and proper roadways, would take me 30 minutes to an hour, compared to 15 minutes by car.

    Couple the time (which effects my utility and effectiveness at home and on other tasks) with the exposure to harm and it is not worth it.

    There needs to be a decent paradigm shift, enabling nice bicycling lanes, particularly on major bridges, and on direct throughways, for it to be worth the effort.
     
  5. fixedgear

    fixedgear Member

    I've ridden a bike to school and then to work for many, many years. I found that for me, it has kept me fit and healthy. I've never had to be on a diet. Riding is a physical challenge and a pleasure, mixed with a certain risky thrill. (is that the definition of fun?) The time spent riding a bike is beneficial time, not awasted time. In fact, I don't have to spend time at the gym, so I actually can do other stuff instead. The physical effort is a great stress-reliever, too.

    Having a bike in the city is really convenient - you can get anywhere (I ALWAYS obey traffic lights, btw) much more easily. You can usually park where you want to, also.

    A agree that a commute of less than 10 miles is something most people could do on a regular basis. If your work place has a shower, so much the better. If your ride is more than 3-4 miles, it's worth wearing cycling clothing.

    You will feel the seasons change. Your clothing will change with them. After you get used to the Winter, Spring comes along and you can savor it better than anyone in a car - even a convertible.
     
  6. Kinder

    Kinder Well-Known Member

    And another variable regarding time savings--parking passes at the university are very expensive; street parking is very poor and far away. So by riding my bike in, I save about 10 minutes of searching for a spot and walking to the office. I park my bike in the office, by the way. As my commute is only 2 miles, I save several minutes of time by biking rather than driving.

    Bonus is we are able to be a one-car household purely because of my commitment to bike commuting year round. Huge money savings.

    This is my 4th year of it--I may have written this elsewhere, but by moving to Reno and living near work, I eliminated a 48 mile round-trip daily commute--so by changing my personal status quo, I've eliminated perhaps 40,000 miles of driving since moving here, and many hundreds of hours of commute time.

    Still riding my 1973 Raleigh International daily!
     
  7. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    bike "tunnels" along the roads? That should be pretty good. similar to the highways but lit and temp controlled. Exits are marked depending on where along the road you are. Of course these domes can be opened during nice weather for views or it can be made of some hard glass to begin with. It might be expensive but would save a lot of road usage and gasoline and much more if biking can be done in winter without worrying about extra padding.
     
  8. total nut

    total nut Member

    What brand of bike seat is the best?
     

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