I like my commute.
I think about myself amongst these fortunate sufficient to rejoice Bike to Work Day (Friday, Could 17) by doing what I do virtually day-after-day: pedaling to the workplace.
My job at The Penny Hoarder is shut sufficient to house — 3.2 miles, in line with Google Maps — and I reside within the comparatively bike-friendly metropolis of St. Petersburg, Florida, so I could make it on my cruiser with out breaking an excessive amount of of a sweat.
And it seems I’m not alone — 872,000 People report that they bike to work, in line with the latest American Group Survey.
However earlier than you flip too resentful, (get it? going inexperienced? I’ll cease) there’s a darkish secret you must find out about biking to work.
It isn’t as low-cost as you would possibly assume.
Don’t get me flawed: It’s so a lot inexpensive than filling up a automobile with a tank of gasoline, shelling out for a brand new alternator and paying to park in a downtown storage. I do know as a result of I used to do all that.
However for these contemplating biking into a motorcycle commute, you need to be conscious of some maybe surprising prices that include wheeling it to work.
Prices of Commuting by Bike
Right here’s a breakdown of my preliminary funding in my bike commute. I included my prices, however your mileage (and bills) might range.
- Bike: I obtained my seven-speed cruiser on sale, however shopping for used would have been a less expensive different.
- Repairs: I add air to my tires and lube the chain, however my interior mechanic ends there, so I take it to the native bike store for something past that. I additionally carry a mini restore equipment, giving me peace of thoughts that I can at the very least make it to the closest espresso store if crucial.
- Lock: I obtained a easy U-lock that I’m pleased with, however relying on how anxious you’re about your bike getting stolen, you possibly can shell out greater than $100 for a mix of cables, chains and extra.
- Helmet: After attempting on a number of within the retailer, I went with the cheaper model as a result of it felt simply as protected and resulted in the identical helmet hair as the expensive model.
- Lights, mirrors, flip alerts: Apart from serving to hold me protected, lights and a mirror are my manner of telling drivers that I’m a courteous commuter, so I count on the identical from them. (It doesn’t at all times work.) I’m eyeing a alternative rear gentle/turn-signal combo, however I take advantage of hand alerts for now.
- Luggage: A rear-attaching waterproof bag holds my bike necessities, whereas a backpack carries my laptop computer and a change of garments. After an unlucky incident during which I found that leftover lasagna doesn’t journey effectively in a backpack, I now pack a separate lunch bag that I connect to the entrance of the bike with a carabiner clip.
- Climate gear: I’m in Florida, so a rain poncho, reflective clothes/gear, further sunscreen and pair of sun shades are important.
- Laundry: I just about doubled my weekly laundry load as a result of even on nice days, I work up a sweat. At $5 a load, that’s an additional $20 per 30 days.
- Toiletry equipment and additional change of garments: Helmet hair is actual. So is the chance you’ll get splashed by a dump truck.
- Further money: In each bike commuter’s life will come the day once you merely should take a bus, drive or name an Uber or Lyft; it’s normally surprising, so I hold a stash of emergency money.
Grand whole: $530.
In comparison with the price of driving — AAA estimates that proudly owning and working a brand new car prices a mean of $737 per 30 days — I’m saving within the lengthy and quick runs by biking.
Plus, I determine I get further psychological financial savings by exercising within the sunshine throughout my common commute time, which supplies me that multitasking glow.
Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a workers author at The Penny Hoarder. Her worst day driving continues to be higher than her greatest day driving.