The Economics of Cycling...

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby sogood » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:53 pm

Comedian wrote:You are all ignoring depreciation. It is by far and a way the biggest cost of car ownership for anyone that owns a newish car...
We've calculated that if we drop the second car that will be one kid through private school...

Bike, car, SUV, these all pale in comparison to raising a kid. Having a CO2 producing kid leads to a loss of sleep, loss of disposable income, loss of free time to ride, burden on household transport, further load on the environment and the list goes on. I say drop the kid! :mrgreen:
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by BNA » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:13 pm

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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby JessicaAlba » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:13 pm

sogood wrote:
Comedian wrote:You are all ignoring depreciation. It is by far and a way the biggest cost of car ownership for anyone that owns a newish car...
We've calculated that if we drop the second car that will be one kid through private school...

Bike, car, SUV, these all pale in comparison to raising a kid. Having a CO2 producing kid leads to a loss of sleep, loss of disposable income, loss of free time to ride, burden on household transport, further load on the environment and the list goes on. I say drop the kid! :mrgreen:


You forgot "sudden gain of other people wanting to strangle your screaming brat" :mrgreen:

No I do not have kids. Yet...or maybe never....

Back on topic. I spend anywhere from $70 to $120 on fuel a week (or I did), plus rego etc, which I do still have to pay. At this point I reckon I am probably actually breaking even, but having the extra ready cash in my pocket each week, not being spent on fuel, is really a bonus. I find I am having a lot more fun with life now, going out more, spending money on dinners with the GF...even saving a decent amount each month.

Now I think on it, I reckon the "$8K average per person" is probably a bit of an over estimation, but the benifits are definitely there.
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby eeksll » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:45 pm

jasonc wrote:
rkelsen wrote:
jasonc wrote:I calculate costs vs public transport.

Yeah, me too. It makes the goal a bit harder to reach, but I'm getting there.


I have the wonderful advantage of mine costing $9.54 per day :D

For this year: so by the time i get home today, I haven't spent $1564.56 because I've ridden.... let's not talk about how much I've spent


I calculate the same way. I was ahead for about 6 months then I bought another bike and upgraded some parts on the commuter. I think I need another year or 2 before I break even again. But thats ALL my riding costs e.g i dont commute on the roadie or the mtb. Don't know how to calculate the extra food ...
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby jasonc » Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:57 am

eeksll wrote: Don't know how to calculate the extra food ...


lets not talk about extra food or vitamins or washing
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby bychosis » Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:12 am

I'll throw in saved on hot water at home, when riding to work that is where I shower.
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby jasonc » Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:17 am

bychosis wrote:I'll throw in saved on hot water at home, when riding to work that is where I shower.


But I shower when I get home too. Will start using the pool now that summer is pretty much here
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby Kenzo » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:00 am

jasonc wrote:
rkelsen wrote:
jasonc wrote:I calculate costs vs public transport.

Yeah, me too. It makes the goal a bit harder to reach, but I'm getting there.


I have the wonderful advantage of mine costing $9.54 per day :D

For this year: so by the time i get home today, I haven't spent $1564.56 because I've ridden.... let's not talk about how much I've spent

$13.24 per day on the bus for me. Have saved over $1500 on bus fares on the days I have ridden to work. But I total it up against all bike expenses, including the non commuting ones like adding bling or new parts for my wife's bike.

As for the depreciation of the car, unfortunately this cost will be incurred whether I cycle everyday or not. The car is used for more than just the journeys I am replacing by cycling.

Cycling costs me money, it doesn't save (me) money. Just like rockclimbing, gym and especially the swimming pool in the yard.

As a form of transport - costs wise I'm ahead ... and as a cyclist I am in the red. But it's a nice shade of red.
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby Sydguy » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:24 am

It would be nice if insurance policies were calculated (to some extent) on kms driven. Gicen so many cars are required to have the annual inspection for road worthiness prior to CTP/rego (in NSW) the kms on the clock could be reported to the insurer then.

Based on usage your premium is adjusted, perhaps going forward they could offer additional no claim bonus or some such incentive to use your car less or just a rebate. I the cost of owning a vehicle was linked more clearly to kms driven then I suspect people would drive fewer kms or not invest in a car.

The flip side I guess is more admin for the mechanic/insurer, increasing your kms driven reduces the cost per km of the fixed costs.

Just trying to think of an economic solution to getting more cars off the roads!

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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby jasonc » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:34 am

Kenzo wrote:as a cyclist I am in the red. But it's a nice shade of red.


beautifully put Kenzo
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby high_tea » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:44 am

Kenzo wrote:
jasonc wrote:
rkelsen wrote:Yeah, me too. It makes the goal a bit harder to reach, but I'm getting there.


I have the wonderful advantage of mine costing $9.54 per day :D

For this year: so by the time i get home today, I haven't spent $1564.56 because I've ridden.... let's not talk about how much I've spent

$13.24 per day on the bus for me. Have saved over $1500 on bus fares on the days I have ridden to work. But I total it up against all bike expenses, including the non commuting ones like adding bling or new parts for my wife's bike.

As for the depreciation of the car, unfortunately this cost will be incurred whether I cycle everyday or not. The car is used for more than just the journeys I am replacing by cycling.

Cycling costs me money, it doesn't save (me) money. Just like rockclimbing, gym and especially the swimming pool in the yard.

As a form of transport - costs wise I'm ahead ... and as a cyclist I am in the red. But it's a nice shade of red.


Same here. I don't expect to come out ahead, I expect the money I save on transport to (somewhat) offset the costs of my hobby. I cycle because it's really really good for my quality of life. Even if I didn't save a cent on transport, it'd still be money well spent.
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby Comedian » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:53 am

If you just rode your flat bar to work and bought a couple of sets of cheap clothing I would probably have been ahead compared to my bus fares (1700 PY) within the first 6 months. That would be great... I'd be saving time, be much fitter than I ever had been.. all good.

But then the rot set in. Then I started to want MOAR. All of a sudden a 3k bike looked cheap. $1k for a set of wheels was nada. $220 for a pair of shorts - an investment. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

As the "bike cult leader" or just simply the "Cult of Steve" as it's known around the office... when I'm asked about cyclings cost savings I shuffle my feet a little and change the subject to the time savings and increased fitness. I would say that amongst the people in the office my transformation from average middle aged fat IT dude to "athlete" has been far more persuasive than the economics.

This article by an respected economics blogger was written about the economics of cycling the other day. Now he's a colleague so maybe you can use that to put some context around his observations. He is a very strong advocate of cycling now though.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:54 am

Dunno about numbers but the physical and mental health benefits I get from riding make numbers irrelevant anyway. Cost/benefit ratio waaaay into the black side of the ledger methinks. :D
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby jasonc » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:55 am

i keep track of all costs (yes, i love spreadsheets). I also separate commute costs vs weekend costs. I'm ahead by about $80 for the year for commute costs for the year.
Overall, I'm not. BUT it's now my hobby (much to my wife's disgust) but when I compare what I would have spent if I continued playing golf, I'm ahead. I agree with what comedian said, having just bought a new toy so I can go further/faster.

We are a one car family. We do have access to a car, but it's rarely used.I do more kms cycling that we do in the car. If I didn't use it for commuting, maybe we would have bought a second car. This would make my cycling expenses look cheap.
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:00 am

Xplora wrote:
ColinOldnCranky wrote: However also spend around $2,500 a year at my coffee stop that I would not otherwise do. But these are marginal when compared to private vehicle usage.

In fairness, this is probably money that you'd spend anyway with a burgeoning social life... 50 bucks a week is nothing considering most people spend that on a quiet Friday at the pub... Your coffee shop must love seeing you :)


What social life? :oops:

But if you are inviting me over... :mrgreen:

Re the coffee shop, it's my daily stop. I am so much a boring creature of habit that the owner overrides my standard muffin with her own choice as often as not. After four years she has a pretty good read on my likes.
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby skull » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:19 pm

JessicaAlba wrote:No I do not have kids. Yet...or maybe never....


I have number 1, nearly 3 months old. My training has actually improved since his arrival.
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby Comedian » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:18 pm

sogood wrote:
Comedian wrote:You are all ignoring depreciation. It is by far and a way the biggest cost of car ownership for anyone that owns a newish car...
We've calculated that if we drop the second car that will be one kid through private school...

Bike, car, SUV, these all pale in comparison to raising a kid. Having a CO2 producing kid leads to a loss of sleep, loss of disposable income, loss of free time to ride, burden on household transport, further load on the environment and the list goes on. I say drop the kid! :mrgreen:


OK, when can I drop them around? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :twisted:
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby AKO » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:25 am

Unfortunately cycling has been far from economical for me. I only ride for fitness and fun and cannot commute by bike. I work 160klms from home and the road out isn’t really suited for cars so a bike is out of the question. I can count on 1 hand the number of trips I’ve made on the bike that would otherwise have been driven, and 2 of those trips were to buy parts for the car as it was broken down. And to add insult to injury, I have made many trips in the car that I wouldn’t have made if I didn’t ride (most to the LBS to buy bike related stuff). I have only been cycling since February this year and it has cost me a bomb, even when considering my employer has chipped in just over 2.5k for the 2 bikes I have purchased. Having said that I don’t consider any of it to be a waste. My fitness has improved and I feel healthier than any time I can remember. That alone is worth the cost. It seems while I'm on the bike every moment is spent wondering why I put myself through the physical torture, and every moment off is spent thinking about my next ride :)

I envy you people that can commute by bike and I now think of the wasted opportunities I had when I did live close to work.
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby JessicaAlba » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:40 am

AKO wrote:...even when considering my employer has chipped in just over 2.5k for the 2 bikes I have purchased


Hang on, wait...your employer gave you money to buy bikes?? Right, how do I get on that ticket?! :lol:

AKO wrote:It seems while I'm on the bike every moment is spent wondering why I put myself through the physical torture, and every moment off is spent thinking about my next ride :)


Hearing you here! Even after a long Saturday morning ride, when I think I simply could not turn another pedal, by the afternoon thoughts of getting out again develop, just for a lap around the block...or maybe a short trip into town and back. All I think of at work all day, is the ride home...although that could be an extension of that signfying knock off/beer o'clock, lol.
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby AKO » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:50 am

JessicaAlba wrote:
AKO wrote:...even when considering my employer has chipped in just over 2.5k for the 2 bikes I have purchased


Hang on, wait...your employer gave you money to buy bikes?? Right, how do I get on that ticket?! :lol:

I work on an open cut coal mine and we get a few perks with the job. One of them is what my employer has dubbed "The Healthy Bodies Subsidy". $1500 per financial year for healthy activities. They payed $900 for my Malvern Star MTB in Februray, $215 for clipless pedals and shoes and recently I claimed this years full subsidy on my MS C5 roadie. Left me only $500 out of pocket.
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby Nobody » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:29 am

It is far more common in AU to get a subsidy for driving your car to work. Because my work site is considered remote (no public transport) I get about $2.5K a year to drive.
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby sogood » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:01 pm

Comedian wrote:OK, when can I drop them around? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :twisted:

In your dreams! :P
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Re: The Economics of Cycling...

Postby KonaCommuter » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:40 pm

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The Economics of Cycling...

Postby John Pitter » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:38 pm

In the many North American cities where two-wheeled transportation is taking off, a new bicycle economy is emerging. It’s amazing how much money can stay in your community when it isn’t being pumped into the gas tank, big insurance, and the auto market.





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