Friday, April 20, 2012

Bicycle Dreams, Ctd (a.k.a. Here Comes The Math)

Just a quick word on the price of super-uber nice city bikes like those I mentioned in my last post: if I use it as my primary transportation, it will just about pay for itself in a year. Seeing as how these are bikes built to last for many many years, it's quite the bargain even if I buy one that is on the way upper end at like $2000.

First, riding to work most days means I wouldn't need a monthly CTA card. A ride on our public transit is $2.25 each way, and I save money by getting the $86 monthly pass. Let's be prudent and say I'll only bike 10 out of the 12 months in a year - that's $860 less that I am paying for transportation.

Then there's the car - and I am considering this as a car replacement when my car finally dies. Mine is paid off and luckily quite a reliable little beast. Still there are expenses. Even liability-only insurance on an old-ish car in the city is about $350 per year. Then I have to buy a city sticker ($100) and a licence plate renewal ($100) every year. Let's say it's a good year and I only have to do oil changes and minimal gas and a few tolls and parking meters and no major repairs and no parking tickets. (Incidentally, that would be one MASSIVELY LUCKY year, but we can dream.) Let's say $300. I think that's an extremely reasonable low-ball.

Also, my work would reimburse me $240 per year for bike commuting. Thank you, Bike Commuter Act of 2008!

So that adds up to:
$860 (public transit fares)
$350 (car insurance)
$100 (plate renewal)
$100 (city sticker)
$300 (car maintenance, gas, incidentals)
$240 (bike commuter reimbursement)
$$Priceless$$ (never again getting a parking ticket or hunting for a parking spot or scraping ice off my car so I can get anywhere or suddenly having to fork out hundreds of dollars to ensure I pass the car emissions test, etc.)

The Pashley costs like $1,300, which is less than some of the other dream bikes, more than others, but about what I'm okay with spending. So say I spend $1,300. I am still coming out ahead, even considering an annual $70 bike tune-up and the occasional repair - because bike repairs are just not costly in the same way car repairs are. Um, unless you get hit by a car or similar. I will try not to get hit, promise.

You're welcome.

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