Cycling to Work – Good for the Family Budget

female commuter cyclingA bicycle is often viewed as a children’s toy, set aside when one gets a driver’s license. With gas prices at near record highs, and signs showing they will not drop soon, it is time to rethink that paradigm.

A bicycle provides a cheaper, more health-friendly way to get around town. No more paying $4.00 at the pump, and then having to handle to oil and insurance. No, you can just hop on the bike and cycle to work.

The following is a list of benefits of cycling to work.

Lower Bills

  • Less money spent at the pump.
  • Less wear and tear on the car – preserving the life of the vehicle.
  • Lower mileage of the vehicle – spacing out the oil changes.

 

Better Health

  • Cardio twice a day.
  • The average distance between the American Home and Workspace is five miles, a half hour bike ride.
  • Lower long-term medical risks, due to being in shape.

 

New Social Experiences

  • Meet people as you cycle to work.
  • See the shape of the community, and know if your tax dollars are being spent properly!
  • Get a better reputation at work – those that take care of themselves are viewed more highly than those that do not.

 

Less Stress

  • Avoid traffic jams by using the sides of the road.
  • A blown tire costs twenty dollars – and does not leave you waiting for a tow truck.
  • The most expensive part of a bike that can break is the chain, and that can be swapped out in the comfort of your own home!
  • Exercise is a calming experience, reducing stress and promoting general good will.
  • Gives you time to think. Be prepared for the challenges of the day as you formulate a plan for the initial tasks during your ride. A well-prepared employee is a promoted employee.

 

Set a Good Example

  • Children need to know that exercise is important, and the best way of doing so is by actually exercising.
  • Promotes early independence – if the child views the bike as transportation then he will more likely use it as such.
  • Teaches the value of the Dollar – by saving money you show how important it is to put back every penny possible for a rainy day.

 

Now that we have gone over some of the reasons why it is a good idea to bike to work, let’s go over some of the equipment you will need to use.

 

The Bike

  • It’s the most important component of this whole endeavor.
  • Does not have to be fancy – a simple street bike will suffice for most people.
  • Do not buy used, there might be damage you can not see immediately!

 

The Helmet

  • It is the law in numerous jurisdictions to wear some sort of head cover when on a bicycle.
  • Keeps you from being injured in the event of an accident.
  • Protects against the wind, and some advance models include Bluetooth so you can answer your phone without stopping.

 

Reflective Clothing

Keeps drivers from not noticing you. As a biker, I have lost track of how many time some silly person decided to dart in front of me, even when I have the right of way! A reflective belt or jacket can go a long way in preventing injury.

 

Bike Horn

  • Does not have to be large.
  • The goal is to be able to inform people of your presence without screaming. A simple bell, or air-compressed horn, will suffice.
  • Just hook it to your bikes handlebar and go!

 

Identification Tag

  • Lets people know who owns the bike.
  • Keeps you from accidentally running off with someone else’s vehicle!

 

Bike Light

  • It is the law in numerous jurisdictions for bikes to come equipped with some sort of light.
  • Perfect for biking in the morning and evening, letting you see the road in front of you!

 

Cycling to work is a good way to save your family some money. It is not that much, ten to twenty dollars per week, but it adds up over time. An extra grand in your pocket will feel great when it comes time to plan your family vacation!


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