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Bike to Work to Save Money

Jun 10, 2008
Gas prices have been going up very quickly, and the impact has been quite serious to many families. Many have gone from scraping by to having money trouble, or doing pretty well to just scraping by. It's pretty rough out there.

This is why bicycling to work is increasing in popularity. Bicycles are relatively cheap, and if you live within a reasonable bike ride to your work it can be very practical as well as healthy.

It may seem odd to many to think of riding to work, but there are a few tricks to make it more reasonable.

First, is your commute reasonable? This is a personal decision. For some 5 miles each way may be a maximum. Others may be willing to go 10 or more miles by bicycle to work.

Second, find out where at work you can keep your bicycle. While many employers will probably not have a bike rack available, you may get permission to store your bike someplace where you work. All you need is a place that's a bit out of everyone else's way. Talk to your boss.

Third, decide how you're going to transport your work clothes. Most people don't want to ride their bikes in the clothing they'd wear to work; it's too easy to sweat in those. But you can fold your clothes neatly into a backpack and change at work. If you're careful about it the wrinkles should not be severe. Think about clothes that resist wrinkling but still look professional.

Fourth, think about what kind of weather you are willing to ride in. The weather won't be perfect year-round just about anywhere. How will you cope with pouring rain? 100+ degree F weather? Does it snow in your area? Obviously some days will be much harder than others for riding a bike.

Will you need more than a bike?

You will want some basic equipment that you may or may not own already. A bicycle helmet is vital. Not all car drivers care to watch out for bicyclists, and I do know people whose lives have likely been saved by their bike helmets. The most recent case was used to show my niece what could happen if she didn't wear her helmet. A helmet all but split into pieces and a rider only lightly injured is a great object lesson.

Other equipment may or may not be needed. If you're going to be riding at dusk or night, a front and rear light is a very good idea. You do not want to be invisible. You'll also need regular maintenance on your bike to keep it in good condition.

And if you need to carry equipment to work, you're going to need something for carrying it. It may be the backpack you carry your change of clothes in or a pannier for your bicycle.

Don't forget a backup plan.

While you may hope to ride to and from work daily, sometimes a change in the weather may make it impossible to get home on your bike. Some places get rather sudden changes in the weather that you may not want to deal with.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to have a coworker who is willing to take you home. Or public transportation may be a practical option. You may even be able to have your spouse come get you if the weather is too bad. Whatever your solution is, plan it out in advance so you aren't struggling to figure it out when the need is urgent.

Riding a bike to work can result in significant monthly savings and help you to keep fit. As gas prices make it more painful to fill up your car, this option may greatly simplify your life.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs http://www.findbicyclesonline.com/ to discuss bicycle riding. Find the bike you want or bicycle parts at her site.
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