Car-Free,  Frugality

Thoughts of a bicycle

I have a bicycle that I haven’t used for some time.  It is an inexpensive mountain bike in serious need of brake pads and some air in the tires. It has been almost a year since I rode it because the last place I lived really didn’t have anything local like a grocery to visit.

Living on the outskirts of Paducah I could use it quite readily to go to the grocery, Wal-Mart, Dollar Store or even to go to the bus stop to catch a bus to the Mall or the library. For all of that, I could even bike to church on Sundays!

I have a basket I can easily secure on the back with bungee cords, making it back into an all-purpose machine for fair weather.  I am seriously considering an investment in brake pads for it today.

While I know I am not able to give up a vehicle entirely because of the need to take trips to care for personal business on a regular basis, I am thinking that I could use it to reduce how much money I spend on fuel just tooling around here at home.

Honestly that is why I got it—back when gasoline was over $4 a gallon I parked the car I owned–took the price of a fill up and purchased bikes for me and the kid.  I rode that bike to work and everywhere else exclusively until gas prices went back down.

Living here in a major city–why can’t I do that again? A tank of gas from empty costs $68.75 (25-gallon tank at $2.75/gal.), and while I don’t drive too much I should be able to save at least a single tank on my local running this summer. At 20 miles to the gallon on my van, that would mean I would have to bike 500 miles.

The local buses have racks to store bicycles when you ride and I have a partial pack of tickets already (10 tickets for $6). It would be beneficial to the public transportation industry if I used them more, beneficial to the environment cause my van would not be used as much, beneficial to my health because I would be getting more exercise, and I’m hoping that it would be beneficial to my pocketbook.

Opinions, anyone?