Something to consider:
1. Time Magazine recently released this article, in which they estimate that the average American spends $2600 every year commuting to work.
2. This article claims that about 50% of all drivers experience some form of road rage every day.
3. The more time you spend on the road, the more you spend on gas and the greater the chance you'll encounter some form of road rage.
We assimilated this information into a simple graph:
The more you spend, the the angrier you get.
Let's break this down a little further.
If you drive to work everyday and you spend near the average amount on commuting, you could instead ride your bike to work half of the time and have an extra $1300 or so in your pocket. If you don't own a bike, you could purchase a Linus for as little as $490 or a Surly Cross Check for $1250, and still come in under budget. Then, next year, you might need to spend $100 or $200 on tires, brake pads, and some service, but you'd have more than $1000 extra dollars.
$1000 extra dollars. If you're like me, there are a lot of things you'd do for $1000 extra dollars. Isn't riding your bike to work every other day one of those things? If you rode your bike to work every day, you'd have an extra $1300 this year, and about $2300 every year thereafter.
An extra $2300 every year. It's like getting a raise and increasing the quality of your life just by doing something fun (every day!). Here are a few things you could buy with $2300:
Why aren't more people doing this? Let's examine a few of the most common reasons.
-I live too far away from my job.
It's true that a long commute can seem daunting, if not impossible. There was a time when my commute was about 20 miles each way, and when I first took the job I was disappointed that I would no longer be commuting by bike. However, that 20-mile drive was at its shortest a 60-minute drive, even when I was able to avoid the peak of rush hour. I decided I would try riding to work a couple of times per week. It wasn't long before I was riding almost every day. I could ride uphill to work in about 75 minutes, and ride home in under 50. It was to my great surprise faster, less frustrating, cheaper, and healthier.
There's a saying out there that I didn't trust for a long time because it was first said to me by a salesman. However, after a lot of experience riding in the winter, it turns out to be true. "There is no bad weather, only bad clothing." If you learn to dress correctly, there's not a day you can't ride. Also, don't forget that public transportation is an option on the worst of days.
-My butt/wrists/neck/knees hurt after five miles. I can't possibly ride twenty.
It's important to have a bike that fits correctly if you're going to ride consistently. Sometimes this can be as simple as getting a different saddle. Sometimes, merely adjusting the saddle height or the angle of the brake levers can work wonders.
-I'm afraid of traffic.
You should be. There are a lot of nose-picking texters out there. Watch yourself, be aware, be prepared for cars to make the worst possible decisions, and follow the rules. This formula works well for many cyclists.
But don't take our word for it. Let your bike do the talking. If you ride your bike to work every day for a week and hate every minute of it, come see us and we'll figure out why and help you find a solution.
Our friend Kate had an old, heavy bike that didn't fit her, and we helped her customize a sweet new Surly Cross Check. She sent us an email after she'd owned the bike for one day that read, "I just wanted you to know I had a BLAST riding my new bike to work today. Thanks so much for putting so much care into it! I am hooked." Thanks, Kate!
That's not to say that you need a new bike to enjoy your ride to work. If you don't enjoy your commute, let's figure out why. We're here to help! We're also here to change the world:
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