Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
What I save from riding to work I spend on food to fuel these rides...
I haven't done a comparison but the rough figures I've worked out tell me I've halved my car costs (fuel, tyres servicing)
2010 BMC SLC01
Is is possible to do a valid comparison? What is the $$$ value of feeling annoyed when I just miss a train, when I have to endure the smell of someone's meat pie on the train or stand next to someone who stinks? What is the $$$ value of the frustration I feel when I am stuck in traffic and what is the toll on my health, which could potentially cost $$$ in the future?
What is the $$$ value of the pleasure I feel when I am freewheeling down the PSP next to the beautiful Swan River in Perth? What is the $$$ value of arriving at work earlier? What is the $$$ value of feeling happier and being healthier? How much will I save on health care in the long term?
How much is it worth that I shower at work instead of home and work pays for that?
I have a budget for buying lunches which is the same pre-cycling and post-cycling. I don't exceed my lunch budget so question how much "extra" food cycling is actually costing. Perhaps it is a factor of maintaining weight while cycling vs gaining weight pre-cycling. I am pretty sure that pre-cycling I was slowly gaining weight. Finally now though, I am starting to lose some, with a huge corresponding health benefit.
There is no question that cycle commuting is saving me a significant amount of money. Exactly how much is hard to quantify though.
About $40 a week.
My bike costs (Overall = capital and operating; 2010 = capital and operating costs in 2010) on a per kilometre basis are:
Look 555 - Overall cost per kilometre = 0.43 cents; 2010 cost per kilometre = 0.21 cents
Surly LHT - Overall cost per kilometre = 0.47 cents; 2010 cost per kilometre = 0.76 cents
Giant XTC 2 = Overall cost per kilometre = $3.50; 2010 - no kilometres ridden;
Giant CRX 1 = Overall cost per kilometre = 0.12 cents; 2010 = no kilometres ridden.
I don't know how this compares to the car as I don't track its costs. I would suggest the CRX 1 costs are the best reflection of my commuting costs as this was my commuter for all of its life.
Last edited by Aushiker on Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I will typically spend about $2k a year on bike related expenses.
If I drove, I will need to spend $80/wk on fuel. That would be $4,160/year.Public transport will be $7.50/day, which works out to be $2,080/year on a five day week. I will still have to spend money on weekends to the market which I typically do on my bike so perhaps another $15/wk in petrol, which is $780 for the whole year.
Car only option =$4,160 I can claim on anything other than fuel since I have a car and pay rego an insurance on it.
PT + car option = $2,860
Bike only option= $2,000 I could probably save about $200 to 300 more if I did some of the bike maintenance work myself.
Bike is still the cheapest for me. But the fun factor and health benifits on the bike can't be replaced by any other mode of transport.
Food consumption for me is the same with or without the bike. I don't find that I eat more when I ride or not. Guess I have not been off the bike for long enough to give an accurate assessment on food intake.
Reynolds 953 (warranty replacement, 7 months and waiting)
Kona Jake the Snake
It costs me $18/day to commute by car. That's the expense of the commute in insurance, rego, petrol and tolls.
It costs me nothing to commute by bike. That's because there are no equivalent outgoings: no insurance, no rego, no petrol (I eat regardless of driving or riding), and no tolls on the Eastlink Trail.
Food was mentioned earlier in the thread. I eat less since becoming a regular commuter. I've also found I don't drink as much (can't, actually, makes me feel terrible) which I attribute to my greater fitness. With the addition of the Surly Big Dummy to my bike-stable I spend less on getting my/our weekly groceries because it is also free to ride.
--Current rides: Cannondale Bad Boy 8 || Surly Big Dummy
This is the part I just can't get my head around. If I commute to work, not only do I have a big breakfast before I leave, I'm absolutely ravenous by the time I arrive. I have to have a second breakfast otherwise I start getting all woozy! My food intake has certainly increased since I started commuting on the bike. You guys who can do it without the extra energy are pretty impressive!
One of the best things about bicycle commuting is that it can mitigate the displeasure of having to go to work. - BikeSnobNYC
Cycling is sometimes like bobbing for apples in a bucket full of dicks. - SydGuy
Perhaps: or more likely it explains why I could drop 11kgs. I was eating too much!
--Current rides: Cannondale Bad Boy 8 || Surly Big Dummy
Just totalled up the bike costs for the last year. It looks like about $2,000. Plus another roughly $600 for depreciation ($3K across 5 years).
Making some assumptions about my Mazda 121 car I would have got $1,500 maintenance, $700 rego + insurance, $1,500 fuel, $200 parking. Depreciation would be slightly more.
So handwavingly, a good old car is about twice as expensive as a nice new bike. But if you want a new car, the increase in depreciation overwhelms everything else.
One thing that struck me when doing the sums was how cheap petrol is. It's hardly worth the higher capital cost of buying a more efficient type of car. Got to say that this can't be good for the planet.
Max I think I can help here, Couple of things come to mind like some of the others I have not had to increase my intake by much, I now use the excess I was eating because I eat when I am stressed or bored, for providing energy to power the bike. The other thing is I remember in a previous life, way back in my early 30s, that as I got fitter I become more a efficient user of the fuel I ate. Result as I get fitter (and lighter) I should start to eat less, not more.
PS ON the way home it occurred to me that what I eat has changed. Have you also found that when you go for a snack you reach for something high in protein &/or carbs, instead of high in sugar/fat. I also thought I may be eating more but because I no longer feel so guilty every time I may not notice it!
I save $7.40 every day not using public transport. That's $148 a month. I don't spend much on bike related products and I drink at least 1 less coffee ($3) a day when I ride (strange, not sure why). So that's $60 a month. But I do drink a few more sports drinks etc a week due to riding, but I eat less as well which counteracts the cost.
good thread this. My wife's recently lost her 2-day a week job and is now doing relief teaching for a heap less money. The budget is tighter than a drum. I am thinking about selling the second car. At the moment, I rarely catch the train, so am saving about $180 a month (zone 5 Brisbane), but I'm still spending money on petrol as I drive about half way to the city and ride the pushie from there. If I could ride all the way (better bike/better fitness over time) I don't absolutely need a car.
Now, to sell my car!
Litespeed Tuscany with SRAM Force and Open Pros - soon!
Sell the car, buy the bike!~
Then you'd HAVE to ride!
2010 BMC SLC01
How much is commuting saving me about the same as it is costing me???
I am spending about the same amount on gear and accessories to be able to commute through Melbourne's winter, which looks like it might be like the ones I remember from when I was a kid, cold, wet and windy. Then add to that having to ride in the dark when it is raining, I want to be lit up like a Christmas tree on steroids. Sooner or later I hope to get to the point where I can convince myself that i have all the stuff I need for year round commuting, and then I should be saving myself about $80/week in fuel costs.
Have to keep the car for now, need it for towing the trailer and times when a fast response time is required. Would love to sell the car but as we have no repayments, it is past the time when depreciation is a major factor, and both the rego. and insurance have just been paid. It will just sit out the front as much as possible. Will reassess the situation after I get a couple of major projects completed and I make it through my first winter as a cycle commuter.
if I can stop becoming a hood ornament for awhile , I'd say it's probably not saving me anything in direct expenses, because I like my bike bits and pieces too much.
However, it is the indirect effects where it will save me - from myocardial infarction , from obesity, from the poor general effects of sedentary living.
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen
Perth parking fees rocket
Parking fees at some city carparks have soared by up to 84 per cent over the past two years under so-called early bird rates that are costing up to $25 a day, figures show. http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/br ... es-rocket/
for that price you could buy yourself a VERY nice bike every year!
I don't have the spare cash to do what you do (however much i'd like to). I do agree with the other point, I've dropped about 6kg in the last year (down to 67kg), all my pants are way too loose for me, so much so I need a belt even for shorts. But I'm a lot fitter than I have been since I gave up playing football about 6 years ago.
2010 BMC SLC01
If I was driving I'd be out 40/wk in fuel, 600/yr in rego, probably the same in insurance, the upkeep would probably round it up to ~4k/yr, maybe more, plus the upfront cost of buying a car. Haven't been riding to work long enough to work out the costs properly though, but it's certainly cheaper than that.
For those having difficulty calculating car costs. An RACQ document showed that the average cost for running a car was ~$0.75 a km.
A more up to date version is http://www.racq.com.au/motoring_advice/about_your_car/vehicle_running_costs2 here and split into vehicle categories.
Me personally, riding is more expensive then catching public transport which is about $15 a week for me.
I have never entertained the idea of driving the car to uni.
Current bike: 2003 Giant TCR2 w/ full 105
Lot's. I've spent maybe $2000 on two bikes (first one got stolen with most of my gear) and gear (inc a $250 u-lock) over the past 3 years.
If I bought a car it would have cost about $5000 for a decent car, plus rego and insurance $500 a year. Then factor in repairs & maintenance around $500 a year.
Add another ~$50 a week fuel, plus parking costs which would be on average ~$10 a week. All adds up. ~$720 a year. ~$2160 over 3 years.
So bike is $2000 over 3 years for all costs (including buying a new bike after the other was stolen).
Car would have cost around ~$8160. Saving me around ~$6160 over 3 years. Allowing me to travel to Europe 6 weeks, East coast 3 weeks and back to Europe again this June for 5 weeks and still have thousands in the bank. Meanwhile all my mates at Uni who drive constantly complain about being skint for money and having to spent 30 minutes each day looking for a parking spot.
Plus there's also the intangible but priceless cost to the environment, society and my health.
Check out my practical cycling and cycle touring website: VELOPHILE AUSTRALIA
It's costing me an hour a day - new office, 32km away. So more driving than I like as the extra half hour on the way home sucks (yes, I know, HTFU and pedal faster)
I'm still not used to having to put fuel in the car regularly
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
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