Categories
Car-Free Frugality

Bike Riding

I dusted off my old bike, unstuck the brake cables then lubricated and readjusted everything.  After borrowing an air pump from my wonderful neighbor (I have no idea where mine has wandered) I hopped on and went for a ride.

It took 15 minutes to get to the church parking lot.  I could have made it faster but didn’t even try. Figured out where I plan to secure this thing for tomorrow and headed home.

Saw my neighbor at the corner market on the way home and thanked him again for loaning me his air pump. You have got to ensure good neighbor relations when living a simple life.

My leg muscles are not used to the motions of bike riding so I will need to work on that.  I am just happy that once again I will be able to save money and be mobile at the same time thanks to my handy-dandy bike. It gets boring sitting at home all of the time, but I so hate using gas when I don’t have a valid reason!

I Googled the subject of bike riding to work.  Some of those writers amuse me.  They turn people off by telling them they need to spend hundreds of dollars on a bike.  If I am spending several hundred dollars, you can bet it’s on some type of scooter, not something you pedal! Instead my bike was bought on sale several years ago at Wal-Mart when gas was over $4 a gallon. When I decided to no longer pay those prices I took the price of a fill-up and went shopping for a cheaper mode of transport.

As for maintenance, all I have ever bought for that poor thing is a back tire, a better seat, a rack on back to support my crate and some WD-40 for lubrication.  Eventually I will need brake pads but those weren’t as bad as I thought so it is still safe to ride.

Well, I need to look in the outbuilding for my bike chain.  I know I have two around here, so I am not about to purchase another one!

Categories
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?