This morning I was on my way to work with a new test bike (more on that later) that we received and as I am riding, I noticed to my left was my neighbor’s car. She honked the horn, I waved. We approached Cal State Fullerton, traffic gets a bit heavier. With hundreds of students on the streets, the road can become a parking lot really fast. As I was rolling along, I kept tabs on my neighbor’s Dodge Neon. I wanted to see if I could either keep up with her car or beat it. With all the street traffic, I was able to keep moving on the right side the of road as she sat stuck in her lane. The stretch of road we were both on was about 1.5 miles long. At a certain point I was leading the way. But when the road opened up and the speed limit went from 35 to 45mph, she took off leaving me behind.
But the story doesn’t end there. When I got to my office, I checked my watch and saw that I had actually arrived 5 minutes faster than I would have if I drove. I began to think, “could my bike be faster than my car?” The obvious answer to that is YES. Well, technically its not. But for my commute to work it is. Plus its cheaper too!
I’m sure most of you already know this, but I’ll say it again. Bike Commuting is way cheaper than car commuting. But before I get on my tangent, let me give you some background. I’m an IT 2.0 big wig for my employer. I oversee various locations in SoCal as well as throughout the US. On any given day of the week, I may have to jump in my car to take care of things at our Factory or retail stores. So that leaves me in the car most of the week. If I want to bike commute, I’d have to do some careful planning on my schedule and in the event I have to drive somewhere, I’d have to make sure the company car is available.
Ok now back to the whole bike/car cheaper thing. Recently, my aging car has been in need of some major repairs. My clutch needed to be replaced, that was $500, then my suspension is going out, another $550, my brakes, $100, a wheel bearing $50 and I had to replace my tires at $300, that’s friggin’ $1500!!!! With that in mind, I’ve come to the conclusion that my bike is cheaper than my car. That doesn’t even include the cost of gas, maintenance, and insurance.
Now that the initial sticker shock of the cost of repairs has subsided, I’ve decided to start relying less on my car than I normally do. I’m not about to sell my car. Why? It’s because I do need it to make a living. So don’t start ranting and raving that I should go car-free and all that jazz. Some people can do it, but personally I can’t (due to my profession). Anyhow, I’m getting all side tracked. What I’m trying to say is that I’m going to start limiting my time with my car.
For starters, if I can get on the bike at least 2-3 times a week, then that should make some sort of difference in my wallet as well as my health. I told my wife about my idea and she was all for it, she even said, “Wonderful! You can lose weight at the same time!” Not sure if she was implying that I am fat….regardless, I have her support.
I know that my efforts aren’t as grand as some of you who are on bikes 10 days out of the week or the kind like Ghost Rider and Russ Roca who don’t actually own a car, but this has invigorated my bike commuting spirit once again. Funny thing is, as I was riding in this morning, I kept singing to myself with a made up Adam Sandler-esque song…”I’m riding my bike…oooh yeah, I’m on my bike and you’re not! (as I pass cars in traffic)….I couldn’t believe how happy I was on the bike. It felt like I was high! Not that I’d know what that feels like since I’m a good boy, but I think you can relate.