Author Topic: For those who bike to work and don't own a car: backup plan for injuries?  (Read 3828 times)

johnny847

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I'm just curious - for those of you who do not own a car, and bike commute to work, do you have a backup plan in case you get injured? For example, if you sprain your ankle or something?

Currently I walk to work but I want to move to someplace cheaper, which will entail a bike commute. Unfortunately public transport is pretty crappy here.

Nudelkopf

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Taxi.

It's a $15 trip one-way, but if I've got a mild short-term injury I can bare the costs. Still cheaper than a car! If I did something more long term, like break a leg... Then I wouldn't go to work, because fuck standing and teaching for 5 hours a day on a broken leg.

Edit to add: There's no public transport in my town, so no other option but to take a taxi.

alsoknownasDean

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If I'm properly injured, that's what sick leave is for. If I'm recovering but not quite able to ride yet, I'll take public transport.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 07:21:22 AM by alsoknownasDean »

vhalros

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Here public transportation is fairly reliable, so I use it as my backup. I guess if that wasn't available, I'd use Uber or something. If the injury was something really long lasting, I guess I could do a longer term car rental, or worst case just buy a car (and maybe sell it again when healed?).

FLBiker

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We don't really have functional public transport here, but my wife has a car.  Also, we've got an "emergency rides" program here that I sign up for every year.  I think it just gets me a free taxi ride home (up to 4 times a year) though.  I've never actually used it.

If push came to shove, I could probably also work from home for a few weeks.  Longer than that, though, I'd have to figure something out.  Depending on the nature of my injury, I'd probably look at a 50cc scooter and take the back roads.  I had a 125cc for years in Taiwan and rode it with a variety of injuries (mostly scooter-related). :)

johnny847

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Hmm well as a grad student I could take "sick leave" (there's no official sick leave policy as far as I know) but that means I'm delaying progress towards graduation and also not getting paid, as I'm paid hourly. And it looks like I'll be switching to a project that will require work on site.

I also don't have a SO so I can't count on somebody else to just give me rides everywhere.


Looks like I'm running out of options for a backup plan. I forgot to mention I do have a car at the moment but I've been contemplating getting rid of that too.
Taxi on a consist basis would really add up.

Gin1984

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How much does your car cost you per year?  Can you save that amount towards buying a car/taxis/paying a friend to pick you up instead of the car?

mskyle

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How much does your car cost you per year?  Can you save that amount towards buying a car/taxis/paying a friend to pick you up instead of the car?

Yeah, how often are you planning on being severely-enough injured/sick that you can't ride your bike? I've walk-commuted or bike-commuted for ~3 years total and have had very few times when I couldn't make it. My BF and I do have a car but neither of us have parking at work, so driving to work is even more expensive than a taxi (I suppose one of us could drive the other to work then drive home and bike in, but love has its limits...). I would work from home or take a taxi probably if I had to. I can take transit but that usually involves about a mile of walking in each direction.

Anyway, even though we couldn't use it in that kind of emergency, we keep the car because it's paid off, fuel-efficient, and insurance only runs around $500 a year, and our apartment comes with off-street parking. And I like to visit my inaccessible-by-bike-or-transit family.

johnny847

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Good question. I actually don't pay for insurance. registration, etc. because it's still registered to my mom and she doesn't want me to pay her back for that. So I only pay for gas and maintenance. Right now, my marginal cost per mile is about 27 cents (inflated because of a pending car battery purchase). And I've driven 652 miles since I got it, so 652 miles over 8 months = 978 miles => $196/yr.

So this begs the question why do I want to get rid of it when it doesn't even cost me that much? Well I've been driving way less frequently as of late. I fear it's getting to the point where my car is slowly getting worse due to underuse. Although there's not too much data on this topic, at least none that I found the other day with some rudimentary searching.

Maybe I'm being dumb and I should keep the car.



Yeah, how often are you planning on being severely-enough injured/sick that you can't ride your bike? I've walk-commuted or bike-commuted for ~3 years total and have had very few times when I couldn't make it. My BF and I do have a car but neither of us have parking at work, so driving to work is even more expensive than a taxi (I suppose one of us could drive the other to work then drive home and bike in, but love has its limits...). I would work from home or take a taxi probably if I had to. I can take transit but that usually involves about a mile of walking in each direction.

Anyway, even though we couldn't use it in that kind of emergency, we keep the car because it's paid off, fuel-efficient, and insurance only runs around $500 a year, and our apartment comes with off-street parking. And I like to visit my inaccessible-by-bike-or-transit family.

I mean I obviously don't plan on it. But I do want to work out some plan for it.

livetogive

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Depending on the injury you can get a handicapped placard (I had one 2x for knee surgeries).  Would you be able to barter a carpool for use of your placard while your'e in the car?  Not sure what the parking situation is like where you live but in the City I could trade that thing for free rides to work all year.


*I'm not saying do anything illegal, i'm just saying everyone would be willing to drive me with crutches if it meant free parking meters and no time restrictions.

johnny847

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Depending on the injury you can get a handicapped placard (I had one 2x for knee surgeries).  Would you be able to barter a carpool for use of your placard while your'e in the car?  Not sure what the parking situation is like where you live but in the City I could trade that thing for free rides to work all year.


*I'm not saying do anything illegal, i'm just saying everyone would be willing to drive me with crutches if it meant free parking meters and no time restrictions.

There's a parking deck at my lab that is always underutilized. The handicapped placard would not be an incentive.
Not that I know anybody I could carpool with.

GreenPen

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If you have someone refer you to Lyft, they will give you 1 free ride that expires after 10 days. If you let it expire they will offer you 5 free rides that expire after 10 days (or at least that's what they did for me).

I recently had surgery that kept me off my bike for a while, and used these free Lyft rides to do errands. Of course, this option works best when you can plan ahead for the injury.

I'm a red panda

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Well, what is your backup plan if you can't drive a car?   (For example, when I broke my neck last year, I was cleared to work by the doctor, so I couldn't be on short term disability, but I was prohibited from driving until the neck brace was removed, 3 months later.)

That should be the same backup plan if you can't bike.

johnny847

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Well, what is your backup plan if you can't drive a car?   (For example, when I broke my neck last year, I was cleared to work by the doctor, so I couldn't be on short term disability, but I was prohibited from driving until the neck brace was removed, 3 months later.)

That should be the same backup plan if you can't bike.

True, not sure why I didn't think of that earlier /face palm.

darkadams00

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The difficulty in going car free usually revolves around the 5% of the time that is impacted by an unusual or occasional circumstance. Personal injuries (yours), medical emergencies (kids at school/daycare), tight schedules (anybody's), visiting relatives (arrived by train/plane), unplanned job travel/commute to a distant office, large purchases, etc. Sometimes these can be managed via a rental car, a taxi, public transportation, a family member, or a friend.

All in all, my goal is not to try to control the uncontrollable. Instead, I try to plan financially. I understand that over the course of a year, I won't always be able to keep non-bike transportation expenses to $0. Instead, I track those expenses closely. As long as my transportation expenses significantly beat my personal car-cost average, I'm satisfied (yes, I do want to beat the car-driving numbers by quite a bit because bike commuting sometimes carries a convenience cost that servers as a strong motivator in addition to the fun and health benefits).

So most likely a short-term issue (less than two weeks) would be public transportation or a rental car. For a 3+ months without a public transportation option--yeah, I would probably have to pick up a cheap ride off CL and resell it. Without an available carpool or public transportation, it doesn't take long to rack up the costs for car rentals and taxis. But then, I haven't had such an issue in my entire life, and I've only missed a few unexpected days of work in the last 10 years. Conflicting schedules impact me more often.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 11:21:48 AM by darkadams00 »