Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
Well I haven't owned a car for a few years so the bike commuting is basically saving me the public transport fares. This makes it really easy to calculate the savings.
August 2009 I bought a new bike after my ancient Repco died (didn't really die, just not worth fixing). I got a Giant CRX3 for a little over $700. Add in some other stuff and it cost about $1k. So, going by the distrance to work and public transport fares I figured about 5,000Km and it's paid for itself. Well, after about 14 months I've done over 5,000Km so the bike is almost free now. I say almost because a few other costs have come into it, like a new chain and cassette and new pedals and shoes when I changed from toe clips to cleats. But I figure when I get to 6,000 Km it will definitely have paid for itself.
Plus, plenty of other advantages: Time: I ride about 11KM from Elsternwick to just the other side of the city so a car would take about an hour to work because of traffic, train and tram takes about 45 minutes, bike is about 40 minutes - it is the quickest which, given I am not a morning person and normally late for work, is a real bonus. Health: still can't seem to give up the smokes but this is definitely made me a hell of a lot fitter and I have lost some weight. Convenience: I find it easy to get around on the bike and I can do a little shopping on the way home and also get things home which I have had delivered to work (mainly records!). I have a basket as I don't much like panniers or back packs on a bike - works for me. Stress: cycling is fun, waiting around for our useless public transport system to get me to work is stressful and the line I live on has trains every 10 minutes at peak hour so is quite unreliable.
Lot's of advantages I reckon. Maybe I'll try and leave a bit early on Wednesday to get a free breakfast on Ride to Work day.
Riding: Cannondale Quick Speed 2
I just cancelled my campus parking permit. It has just been ticking over on a salary deduction I didn't notice, I probably drove a bit less than once a week on average and it was easier to just keep it rather than bollocks around with coins on the days that I did drive. Now that I've moved and would have to get through the city, I don't even contemplate it.
When my new one came in the mail, BF, aghast, asked me why the ham sandwich I was still paying for the thing. So now I'm not, and as of next pay fortnight, that's $170 for the year, back into the Toys and Wacky Adventures Fund, hazaa
“Lexa”: 2012 Trek Lexa S; “Bluey”: 2006 Trek 7.0FX
My train fare is $4.34 each way.. so $8.68/day. I travel for work quite regularly and I'm sure I won't be up to riding every day come rain, hail or shine.. But in a perfect world I'd be saving $1805.44/year if I were to ride 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year..
The bike cost me $1100.. include other bits and pieces.. maybe $1400-1500 I've spent all up.. So at most a bit over a year and it's paid for itself, gotta love that
(until N+1 starts kicking in... already starting to feel the urge.. doh!)
2014 Rough calcs over 7000 km of commuting:
Cost to run bike (depreciation over 4 years + consumables):
Cost to run car for same km (fuel, service):
Roughly $570 for 2014.
As the other option from riding to work is catching the train, i'd say that my commute saves me $50 per week.
2004 Argon 18 Radon
2012 Argon 18 krypton
2010 Argon 18 Gallium Pro
2013 Argon 18 E-116
-$1400 per year on public transport
- negative $1000 fuel - have you tried riding to lysterfield, youyangs or forrest? Yeah those drives cost money!
- $1200 on gym membership
- about $5000 per year that I would have spent on other crap
- $5000 per year on reduced booze - morning rides are a killer after a semi boozy night. Less $2000 saving because made up for it in coffee again. so net $3000 saving here.
Don't be too hard on your bike expenditures guys. 'Hobby money' is fixed. If you didn't spend it on bikes, it could be cars, boats, hookers, coke or whatever else. Being able to commute and ride places is a bonus.
Specialized Secteur Expert
Kona Hei Hei DL
Third bike - Monstercross!
WHAT?!?! I'm supposed to give up the coke and hookers?! NEVER!
That's exactly what I was thinking...
It's saving my sanity more than anything else. Yes, there is a financial benefit to not having a second vehicle, and there is a physical health benefit, but I really need to ride, or walk, or even run, otherwise I will not be a pleasant person. How much is a better life worth?
Commuting via PT 4 days a week would set me back $48.48 p/w. If I ride to the station and get the early train (arrive by 7am at destination) and then cycle from halfway, the morning commute is free. Doing the same return leg would cost $9.92 across 4 days a week.
I'm fortunate in that most days I bum a lift with a mate who also does the mixed mode commute. We drive in his car (carpooling!) to our departure point, ride to work and do the reverse in the afternoons. I mentioned about paying for some fuel previously but he knocked that idea on the head. So my payment is by way of conversation and helping out where I can in the bicycle knowledge department
- full PT $48.48 * 48 weeks = $2,327.04
- partial PT $9.92 * 48 weeks = $476.16
- mixed mode carpooling/cycling = $0
In the past year I had to replace my bike and other equipment due to an accident. So that's somewhere around $900-$1,000.
The harsh reality is that I make use of all three modes described above. The undeniable winner is the mixed mode carpooling/cycling combination, followed by the partial PT and then full PT. I could confidently say that I've spent less than $1,000 in PT fares over the past year. Add that to the cost of my new gear and it still wouldn't reach $2,000. Anyway you look at it, I'm definitely in front when compared to full PT as an alternative. And that feeling I get upon arrival at work after having just enjoyed my ride - priceless
Bottom line right there folks.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
- never have to pay money onto Myki, being one of the worst features of Melbourne.
- do not get sick from other sick people on the train.
- do not have to deal with crazy/hygienic people on the train.
- have not been sneezed on since cycle commuting.
- take work rage out on cycling for a more relaxing 'home time'.
- becoming fitter and therefore healthier/ less likely to die from inactivity related illnesses.
- less time spent commuting period
- more awake at work after cycling in rather than sleeping on the train
- have not been threatened by drunk/ young people on the rail system
- have not been late to work/ stressed out due to train cancellations/ late trains
- have not been interrogated by the pretend police officers who hang about train stations
- get to see more of Melbourne
- have freedom to go wherever I want on the way home
- get to feel alive racing anyone and everyone in front of me/ race the traffic on the road/ race the trams because I can
- get to feel like a real smarty pants ripping past cars stuck in traffic
- get to have a coffee prior to starting work, in peace, because I have more time due to spending less time commuting
- enjoying having another common interest when meeting new people
- like knowing I travel without using fossil fuels
- bike is cheaper to fix than a car
- do not have to find parking/ pay for parking
frankly, probably spent more than saved.
but the quality of life from the non financial benefits outweighs the (small) additional cost of cycling.
I don't think I'm saving anything at the moment, I've had to buy some new commuter friendly tyres, need some mudguards, thinking of getting reflective anklets for winter darkness, need a new rear light, innertubes. On the plus side I receive a vehicle allowance and almost never take my car to work, I occasionally have to drive in.
Last time I checked, 2014 Distance: 4800km Time: 205hr Rides: 186
New office now, 20km closer.
Riding saves me $5 per day via public transport; $10 per day if I drive and snaffle our car bay (depreciation is not, despite what the various RACs say, independent of milage*), add $10 to $20 per day if I need to pay for parking.
Cost is about 10 minutes of maintenance on the bike per week - pump tyres, wax chain, adjust brakes, charge batteries. And the time to change into my riding gear, twice a day.
* unfortunately "rego" and insurance are still fixed, annual costs which are major disincentives to lower car use, which leads to less provision of alternative transport, which leads to "we need the second car". Repeat ad nauseum.
At the moment it takes about 300km per week (15,000pa) for the running costs to exceed the fixed costs, for a typical vehicle.
Until industry price guides include mileage and rego & insurance is per-km this won't change.
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
Yearly Heaps -
Depreciation of second car - $3000
Insurance / Rego - $2000
Petrol - $1000
Gym membership - $250
Service / Tyres - $600
Less the $400 I spend on my bikes - $6450 saving - man I should hit up Mrs westab for a new bike for every birthday.
The real story is that my three rug rats can now be involved in Netball, Soccer, Little A's, Swimming, and Mrs Westab and I get to have lunch on our own every now and then when they are at school - got to love that and the fact that I get to ride every day.
Not fast, no style, but still get there.
If I can keep up the commuting through the winter it looks like about 12000Ks that should be $3000 less on petrol, services and tyres for the car.
With maybe a couple of sets of tyres a chain or two and a rear cluster in the additional costs. Should leave me $2500 better off come the end of the year.
I cannot justify getting rid of the second car because of running the kids around a bit on the weekends. Although it looks like the motorbike could be going.
roughly this is what the wife and i would spend if we didn't ride
$200 a fortnight on fuel for me to get to work and $80 for the wife for bus fare
I think we have spent alot, more than what we would have saved.
it's not just the bike, shoes, clothing (need to purchase winter clothings soon) back packs water bottles tyres servicing etc accessories
now protein products and the amount of food I eat now is ten fold,
but in saying all that, the fitness that now myself and my wife have we wouldn't change it for the world, cycling is now part of our life, and will be part of our childrens life, and what ever money I can save, will go into a bigger turbo etc for my car! plus always n + 1 regarding getting another pushy and looking at extra pushy's for the kids
We looked into buying a second car (say $7,500), rego/insurance per year ($1,000), maintenance per year ($1,000), petrol ($1,500) over 5 years per vehicle ownership this equates to $5K per year. INCLUDING my hobby/weekend bike ($3K) over 2 years I have spent ~$6,800. PT for this period would equate to about $4K. This excludes the use of a car to drive to the station which alone would be $600 for the two years. I am behind but all the other intangibles like losing almost 25kgs of weight, less sick time (ironic that I am currently sick), feeling better (less stress), eating better and SWMBO is also inspired with a gym membership.
I also discovered Strava and think it is the best thing ever to gauge my fitness against others
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users