Author Topic: Biking to work- my situation  (Read 3253 times)

kevj1085

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Biking to work- my situation
« on: January 10, 2017, 07:51:15 PM »
My wife and I work the same job 10 miles from home. We also have 2 kids that go to 2 separate schools, a daycare and Preschool. Preschool is only 1 mile from home, daycare more like 4. They are 3 and 1 year. We drive a Prius carpooling and get 45mpg so in a given month maybe spend $30 on gas. I personally wouldn't mind biking but don't see the point if I know my wife isn't on board with doing the same. Seeing as we carpool AND have 2 kids AND work at the same place, is it so horrible we drive? Trust me if we ever don't work together I am more than happy to begin biking. Just read the clown car article and wondering what he would say about my situation.

brian313313

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2017, 06:24:31 AM »
My wife and I are similar. Only I work, no kids, and share a Prius. We're about $20/month for gas. I could not get by without a car for work. We have decent public transportation but my job is not on the any of the lines. I'm also about 10 miles, but there are no paths for bikes and morning traffic would kill me literally.

The most important thing you mention though is the wife not being on-board. My wife would like for us to have two cars, but she understands that it's only a convenience so it's not really an issue. It's not something I'd try unless you're both on-board with the idea.

Some of this decision really depends on your financial situation. I put together a spreadsheet and for us, the cost of having a car puts FIRE back by a few months. We're happy that we are one car instead of two. We're older though and have a pretty good nest egg already so time and post-retirement expenses are the biggest factor for us. Post-retirement we don't plan on owning a car. A monthly rental to leave town, occasional Uber if the weather is bad. We'll be walking/biking most of the time then.



Ryland

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 10:25:21 AM »
It's not horrible, especially with the 45mpgs. I imagine it's not putting a huge drag on your numbers.

Think, 20mi round trip, 5 days a week. That's ~2.5 gallons/week at $2.50/gallon. If we use the rule of 752 biking would add an extra ~$5,000 to your portfolio in 10 years if you put that gas money into 7% returning index funds.

Here's an article about the rule of 752: http://www.thehiddengreen.com/blog/the-rule-of-752

If you guys are getting your exercise at some point during the day (and biking sometimes!), than it's okay! Push ups in the office, pull ups on the trees outside, etc. :)

Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 10:45:02 AM »
I bike about 4 miles round trip to work. I was doing the math on how much I was actually saving, and realized it would take 2 years at current gas prices to pay off my $225 studded bike tires.

But...

It's partly the principle of the thing, not "car clowning" for such a short haul. Plus I sit on my buns all day in the office. The extra 30 minutes of exercise is much needed.

So maybe just try out biking 1 day a week to see how it works. But really it doesn't sound necessary except for the principle of the thing.

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 10:54:58 AM »
It's not horrible, especially with the 45mpgs. I imagine it's not putting a huge drag on your numbers.

Think, 20mi round trip, 5 days a week. That's ~2.5 gallons/week at $2.50/gallon. If we use the rule of 752 biking would add an extra ~$5,000 to your portfolio in 10 years if you put that gas money into 7% returning index funds.

Here's an article about the rule of 752: http://www.thehiddengreen.com/blog/the-rule-of-752

If you guys are getting your exercise at some point during the day (and biking sometimes!), than it's okay! Push ups in the office, pull ups on the trees outside, etc. :)

MMM's rule of 752 and Rule of 173
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/15/getting-started-3-eliminate-short-termitis-the-bankruptcy-disease/

Gondolin

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 12:14:48 PM »
You're not in bad shape.

"Bad shape" is when you and wife each drive your leased 10mpg Hummers 80 miles round trip each day.

Owning just one car is good.
Owning a high MPG car is good.
Carpooling is good.

One good thing about this situation is that you can get a bike rack and do one way trips just for exercise if your wife isn't interested in riding as well.

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 12:35:07 PM »
Cycling to work is about much more than the money saved.

You arrive at work every morning feeling recharged and ready to go.

If you're interested in cycling at all, it's just awesome.  I went from biking to work (about 11 miles each way) twice a week to three times a week, and then started adding in 80 - 120 km (50 - 75 mile) rides on the weekends.

After a couple years of commuting in busy Toronto traffic, I'm now much more confident of my abilities on a bike.  I know how to cycle safely, when to take the lane, how to deal with bad motorists, and how to plot a route to places I've never been before.

You can also eat more food and stay the same weight.  No longer do you feel shame/regret after eating that donut at the office.

brian313313

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 03:37:27 PM »
My hat's off to anyone who can work out not owning a car. I don't like driving so I've looked into that a lot but don't feel comfortable doing that now. I can do that either after I retire or if I were to take a job on the Marta line. I live about 1/3 mile from the line. I like my current job though so I don't want to leave. I drive to work because the route would scare me in the dark with sleepy drivers. I'm training for a triathlon at the moment though so I get a fair amount of "biking" in. I'm a wimp on weather so right now it's mostly on the stationary cycle. March I'll be back outside. I live in Atlanta, GA so I'm a real wimp on the weather lol. I also run & swim.

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 10:53:42 AM »
Cycling to work is about much more than the money saved.

You arrive at work every morning feeling recharged and ready to go.

If you're interested in cycling at all, it's just awesome.  I went from biking to work (about 11 miles each way) twice a week to three times a week, and then started adding in 80 - 120 km (50 - 75 mile) rides on the weekends.

After a couple years of commuting in busy Toronto traffic, I'm now much more confident of my abilities on a bike.  I know how to cycle safely, when to take the lane, how to deal with bad motorists, and how to plot a route to places I've never been before.

You can also eat more food and stay the same weight.  No longer do you feel shame/regret after eating that donut at the office.

Do you bike when you have a nasty cold?

I wimped out and drove the cushy couch-mobile in to work today . . .

Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 10:55:43 AM »
Cycling to work is about much more than the money saved.

You arrive at work every morning feeling recharged and ready to go.

If you're interested in cycling at all, it's just awesome.  I went from biking to work (about 11 miles each way) twice a week to three times a week, and then started adding in 80 - 120 km (50 - 75 mile) rides on the weekends.

After a couple years of commuting in busy Toronto traffic, I'm now much more confident of my abilities on a bike.  I know how to cycle safely, when to take the lane, how to deal with bad motorists, and how to plot a route to places I've never been before.

You can also eat more food and stay the same weight.  No longer do you feel shame/regret after eating that donut at the office.

Do you bike when you have a nasty cold?

I wimped out and drove the cushy couch-mobile in to work today . . .

Depends how nasty it is! I drove this morning because I woke up late. I've only biked in once this week, what a chump!

AZDude

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 10:57:27 AM »
I like the idea of the bike rack, so you can bike to work(or home depending on which has better weather) and try it out.

Sounds like savings and environment wise, you two and doing just fine, so its really a preference at this point. Do you like biking?

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 11:07:42 AM »
Cycling to work is about much more than the money saved.

You arrive at work every morning feeling recharged and ready to go.

If you're interested in cycling at all, it's just awesome.  I went from biking to work (about 11 miles each way) twice a week to three times a week, and then started adding in 80 - 120 km (50 - 75 mile) rides on the weekends.

After a couple years of commuting in busy Toronto traffic, I'm now much more confident of my abilities on a bike.  I know how to cycle safely, when to take the lane, how to deal with bad motorists, and how to plot a route to places I've never been before.

You can also eat more food and stay the same weight.  No longer do you feel shame/regret after eating that donut at the office.

Do you bike when you have a nasty cold?

I wimped out and drove the cushy couch-mobile in to work today . . .

Generally, if I feel too sick to bike I'm too sick to go to work.  I've certainly biked when I shouldn't have though.  My general rule is that if the symptoms are above the neck (headache, runny nose, slight cough) you're fine.  If it's below the neck (fever, chest/trouble breathing, aches all over) don't do it.

brian313313

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2017, 02:31:24 PM »
I forgot about the having a cold part. When I was in college I only owned a motorcycle. One day on the way to class I sneezed inside the helmet. I couldn't see to well then and it was about 30F out so opening up the face-mask wasn't an option. I made it in fine by slowing down a lot and then called my roommate for a ride home. Then car-pooled for a couple weeks.

kevj1085

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2017, 08:00:12 PM »
I should admit we also own a 2007 f-150 that gets about 13-16 mpg. I bought it for cash pretty cheap from a neighbor a few months ago as it was in excellent shape and he gave us a killer deal that we paid cash for. However, we never drive it to work, it is purely to haul stuff around rarely and I plan to use it for towing our tiny used pop-up camper I got for super cheap off Craigslist this past summer for occasional vacations along w bikes and beach gear. When I say we rarely use it iean I've filled it up maybe twice in the 4 months we have had it (OK not rarely by mmm's standard but only on weekends for sure, and our city is huge and highly spaced out so mileage adds up fast around here). We only drive the Prius to work, never the truck. Truck is only for recreational use a couple times on weekends.

I don't necessarily enjoy biking, only because I like powerlifting and hard conditioning like sled drags and hill sprints. So I am already incredibly fit, and am actually at a point where I'm worried excessive biking would hinder my specific type of fitness (I deadlift around 500 lbs and squat in the low 400s and want to improve those lifts even). So I'm on the fence about the biking but figure close distances can't hurt.

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2017, 07:44:53 AM »
I don't necessarily enjoy biking, only because I like powerlifting and hard conditioning like sled drags and hill sprints. So I am already incredibly fit, and am actually at a point where I'm worried excessive biking would hinder my specific type of fitness (I deadlift around 500 lbs and squat in the low 400s and want to improve those lifts even). So I'm on the fence about the biking but figure close distances can't hurt.
  Done daily, it absolutely would hurt those numbers.  Done a couple - maybe even three times a week - it should not.

Your round trip commute is 20 miles.  Get a good online calculation of the calories you would burn on that trip.  Then multiply it by 5, and you will understand why I say doing that daily would harm your powerlifting.

brute

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2017, 07:49:53 AM »
I should admit we also own a 2007 f-150 that gets about 13-16 mpg. I bought it for cash pretty cheap from a neighbor a few months ago as it was in excellent shape and he gave us a killer deal that we paid cash for. However, we never drive it to work, it is purely to haul stuff around rarely and I plan to use it for towing our tiny used pop-up camper I got for super cheap off Craigslist this past summer for occasional vacations along w bikes and beach gear. When I say we rarely use it iean I've filled it up maybe twice in the 4 months we have had it (OK not rarely by mmm's standard but only on weekends for sure, and our city is huge and highly spaced out so mileage adds up fast around here). We only drive the Prius to work, never the truck. Truck is only for recreational use a couple times on weekends.

I don't necessarily enjoy biking, only because I like powerlifting and hard conditioning like sled drags and hill sprints. So I am already incredibly fit, and am actually at a point where I'm worried excessive biking would hinder my specific type of fitness (I deadlift around 500 lbs and squat in the low 400s and want to improve those lifts even). So I'm on the fence about the biking but figure close distances can't hurt.

From the strength standpoint: 20 miles a day on a bike will improve your GPP, but if you eat enough and still have plenty of time to train, you'll definitely be able to make progress. Eating enough might be tricky though, and you'd lose any money saved to feed the fire.

Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2017, 10:05:54 AM »

I don't necessarily enjoy biking, only because I like powerlifting and hard conditioning like sled drags and hill sprints. So I am already incredibly fit, and am actually at a point where I'm worried excessive biking would hinder my specific type of fitness (I deadlift around 500 lbs and squat in the low 400s and want to improve those lifts even). So I'm on the fence about the biking but figure close distances can't hurt.



Seriously though, good stuff.

kevj1085

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2017, 08:13:53 PM »
So is it kind of assumed in this situation that the cost to replenish food would basically outweigh the money savings from biking? If we had a regular 20mpg car and gas was like $4 a gallon I could see it saving a ton, but as it stands since I get 45mpg in the Prius at $1.99/gallon gas, my 20 mile bike ride today saved me maybe 95 cents, which will be offset by the fact I'm raging hungry and will probably eat $2 more to make up for it. Plus that much biking I'm sure would interfere w my lifting.

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking to work- my situation
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2017, 12:53:48 PM »
Doubling the size of my bowl of oats in the morning and eating a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter seemed to cover the extra calories that I was burning for only a few cents extra each day.

I found that cycling to work (11 miles each way) two or three times per week did not significantly interfere with my own weight training as long as I got lots of sleep.  That said, I'm a 200 lb guy who was deadlifting 400 lbs at my max.

Most people like to eat junk food too much, are kinda out of shape, and can save a few bucks by bike commuting . . . for them, it's almost a no-brainer.  If you're already running yourself ragged at the gym, will see no financial benefit to cycling, follow a structured diet, and don't like to ride your bike then don't do it.