I'm happy to be writing another post here on CNA Finance! I hope you enjoy...
After not riding a bike in literally a decade (except for 1 crazy ride through my college campus at 3AM one weekend... long story), I began riding again thanks to Mr. Money Mustache!
I've been biking to work now every single workday for 1 year and 7 months. No excuses. I live in Nebraska so I could easily name excuses such as a blizzard, rain, humidity, 100+ degree temperatures, and cowboys & Indian shootouts. Well, I'm kidding about the last part. But all the others are what normal people in my town call 'valid' excuses for not biking. But I'm not normal. So I've been happily biking to work each and every day.
Why do I do it?
TONS of reasons!
1.Biking to Work for Cardio health
I want to die in a cooler way than having my left arm hurt - falling to the ground - and having someone tell my parents I died essentially because I didn't exercise enough.
2.Biking to Work for Muscle building
I don't wanna toot (pun?? ew.) my own horn but my butt is a lot better off since biking. Biking builds muscles in your butt and the top of your thighs. Whatever those muscles are called. Once, my right pedal on my bike broke off. That, of course, wasn't an excuse to stop biking. So I bike the 3.5 miles to work each day using only my left pedal. I did that for a month and by month's end, I had a pair of boxers I couldn't put on because my left thigh wouldn't fit! #amazingproblemtohave
3. Biking to Work to Feel Alive
Biking makes me feel like I actually have a pulse! I bike to work and feel energized to get started commenting on blogs working on bank stuff! Seriously, it feels freaking fantastic powering myself to work. The other night I tried biking without hands and it was a blast. Honestly, I get far more adrenaline rushes from biking than driving through the city.
4. Biking to Work so I can be outdoors
I enjoy the outdoors. So much so, I once started to draw a picture of a window to hang in my cubicle.... Yeah, I think I started biking to work the next day...
5. Biking to Work to save $$$
Honestly, I would ride a bike even if I could drive for free. I'm not joking. After a car accident, the insurance company gave me a sweet Jetta SportWagon* to drive for a week. But even then, I happily biked past it sitting on my driveway.
The federal government says it costs about $.56 per mile to operate a car. But I would be driving a used car (my '99 Eclipse) so let's knock that number down (part of how it's calculated is vehicle depreciation) to let's say $.40 per mile. It would be even lower than $.40 but city driving is expensive and that $.56 is a city/highway mix.
So if I drove instead of biked, I would be out 1,800 smackers. That would fund my grocery shopping for exactly 2 YEARS! So you could almost say my food 'budget' is 0. Budget in ' ' because I hate budgets.
If you think a station wagon is lame, I got news for you... it isn't. Hehehe maybe I'm just that nerdy but I think new station wagons are super sweet. And hella practical!
How do I do it?
I told myself that no matter what, I would bike. It's like how a few posts ago I spoke about burning your ships. I mentally burned my car to the ground. No way on earth would I drive it to work. I wanted to avoid what other people do by saying essentially, "It wasn't 72* and sunny so I drove today."
Oh, and my bike is a $94 fixie bike from Walmart. I figure yeah, I could get a better bike. But if I make it too easy, I won't be building much muscle.
What do my coworkers think?
They actually admire it a lot! It's an easy icebreaker for meeting people around the office! I met a lot of people I ordinary wouldn't if they hand't seen me biking. I've even gotten a trend started where other people around the office are biking.
Oh, yes... about the accident. I was travelling on a bike path parallel to a busy street. A woman was pulling out of a neighborhood to get onto the busy street. She was very close to stopping. But she didn't stop and accelerated into the middle of crosswalk. I had the right of way. I turned hard to avoid running right into her door. I hit her bumper/trunk instead. I flew to the ground, landing in a pile with my bike. The driver and I both looked right at each other. I turned my head to get her license plate number in case she ran. As soon as she saw me do that, she peeled out onto the busy street. I was fine though, I'm just always paranoid people will leave the scene of an accident.
So biking can be sketch. You have to be aware. But I've logged nearly 4,500 miles in the past 1 year 7 months. I've even biked 103-miles through the night for kicks. I feel very safe biking and the benefits far outweigh the cons. Just NEVER trust anyone. Act like everyone wants to kill you and you'll be just fine. Honestly, I don't find biking scary at all though. It's awesome. I'm not saying that to convince anyone to bike to work. I honestly just love the experience.
Further reading if you're curious about the benefits of cycling: