Here’s a oxymoron for you: I work for a national biking organization that promotes biking as the main mode of transportation, yet I am terrified of biking to work. Absolutely terrified of riding a bike in traffic. Or down my hill, for that matter. I mean, hurtling down a hill at high speeds is terrifying in any mode of transport, and trying to keep up with things going twice or three times as fast as you is also scary. It’s kind of a no-win for me.
But I can’t run from it forever, because the fact of the matter is that biking is way more cost friendly, environmentally friendly, and healthy friendly than driving a car or taking public transportation to work.
Here’s exhibit A.
I take the metro to work 4 days a week for a total of 8 trips. On average, these trips cost me $4.95 each way. That adds up to about to a bout $2,059.20 spend on Metro rides in just one year, or $171.60 a month. Let’s round that to $180 to account for random trips on the weekends as well.
My fiance drives to work five days a week. It cost him about $42 to fill up each tank each week. That’s $2,184 a year, or about $182 a month just to go back and forth to work. Let’s add another $10 to that to account for trips around town or for travel on the weekends. So that’s $192.
Capital Bike Share in the Washington DC metro area cost $25 a month or $75 for a yearly membership. To take Bike Share to work, I’d have to metro to the nearest station at a cost of $3.75 a ride. Using the monthly membership rate, this adds up to about $145 a month. Using the yearly membership rate, this adds up to about $1,635 a year. I’ll add some here for weekend metro rides as well, so the total monthly cost is about $155.
Pretty clear cut isn’t it? Using capital bike share, even with having to take the metro to the closest station, saves you anywhere from $25-40 a month. Living on the tight budget I am, this is pretty damn significant!
In the end I am forced to admit that my terrifying fear is costing me a lot of money that could be spent on things like, say, food. Or fun. So stay tuned as this March, I attempt to conquer this fear and redefine my commute in time for the National Bike Summit. Or Bike to Word Day in May.
Leave your biking stories below!