Most of my coworkers know I commute into the office each day by bike. I’m sure most of them think I’m crazy… Somedays even I think I am.
Anyway, alot of times, during a conversation with them, they ask me why I do it? Here are a few of the reasons why I commute by bike:
BIKE COMMUTING IS VASTLY CHEAPER THAN DRIVING
Studies have shown that the average yearly cost of owning a vehicle is well over $8,000. This includes gas, maintenance, insurance, car payments, etc… Factor all that in, and you’re looking at a good chunk of change. Even if your vehicle is paid for, you still have to factor in the other costs. In contrast, the studies have shown that the yearly cost of maintaining a bike is about $200. Quite the difference.
My personal experience? I consider my bike right now to be “free” because I’ve had it over 15 years now. Still runs as good as it did the day I bought it. Can you say that about a 15-year old car? So, my main expense on my bike is a yearly tune up that runs me about $75-100. Other than that, tires and tubes are my only other “real” expense. I’ve been on a good streak of luck lately and haven’t had to replace a tube in a while. Tires last me a few years, so even those costs are minimal.
My personal experience with my van? $60/month for insurance, $220/month in gas, wear and tear adds another $300 to the total. So, if I ditched my car altogether, I’d be saving well over $500 a month. A MONTH! My commuting cost to get to work for that month? $64 in bus fare. Can’t argue with those numbers.
BIKE COMMUTING IS A FREE GYM MEMBERSHIP
Ever join a gym? I have. The “registration fee” is the most ridiculous fee on this planet. Before you even lift a weight, you’re cutting a check for the exbortitant “reg” fee that can rival the cost of a new bike. Then of course, there is the monthly membership fee. If you’re lucky you can get away for about $60-$75 a month. Oh, and don’t forget the whole “You have to GO TO THE GYM” to actually workout. Factor in gas, and wear and tear on the car and you are quickly digging yourself quite the financial HOLE for trying to stay healthy. Last, but not least, how often do you go to the gym? I remember when I first joined a gym years ago, I was very faithful my first month or so, but then the fad wore off. The newness was gone, and “working out” was just another chore or item on my ever-expanding to do list. I began to resent the gym and the wasted money passing right by me.
Now, in regards to bike commuting? I ride EVERYDAY. I enjoy riding EVERYDAY. I have been riding EVERYDAY to work now for over 3 years. My interest level is actually higher now than it has ever been. I truly enjoy the commute. Oh, and I’m getting some great excercise in the process. Gym? Please. Not for me. I’ll take my bike anyday. I’m averaging 33 minutes a day “working out” by commuting by bike. When was the last time you pulled in those numbers at the gym? Oh, and I’ve lost over 15 lbs and I’ve kept them off for over 5 years now. I’m in the best shape of my life and all I have to do is ride my bike.
BIKE COMMUTING = FREE PARKING
Where I work, I can find relatively cheap parking. About $5/day. On “Special Event” days, that $5/day can turn into $20/day. Highway robbery. By commuting by bike, I’m EASILY saving over $1,200 a year. And I get to have fun riding a bike. To me, that’s a no brainer. With the $$ I’m saving, I could basically by a pretty bad-ass bike EVERY year.
BIKE COMMUTING IS GREAT STRESS RELIEF
Ever had a bad day at work? Of course you have. Do you go home and take it out on your family? Hopefully not. For me, when I have a bad day in the office, I head home on the bike and usually kick it into HIGH GEAR to blow off some much needed steam. It’s the best stress relief on the planet. The morning ride into the office is almost as good as coffee. It gets my blood flowing! I can’t think of any other better way to start and end my work day.