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Gasoline headed for $4+ per gallon....How much do you save commuting via bike?

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Gasoline headed for $4+ per gallon....How much do you save commuting via bike?

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Old 02-07-12, 08:44 AM
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Tractortom
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Gasoline headed for $4+ per gallon....How much do you save commuting via bike?

I'm one of the commuters with an easy, and short commute. I ride about 8.25 miles each way, and am new enough to it that when I got up this morning and it was raining, I drove my S-10 pickup to work.

However, the 16.5 mile round trip, in the city traffic, with stops and go's (if you can call Okeechobee, FL a city) still takes about a gallon of gasoline. In mixed driving, I get around 24 in the S-10, but the stop and go takes a bit more fuel. So, I figure every time I make the round trip, I save darn close to a gallon of gas. With today's prices, that's about $3.65 a day for each day I'm on my bike. Not a kings ransom, but if I ride four days a week, for the year, I save in the neighborhood of $700.00 in gasoline at today's prices.

How about you?
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Old 02-07-12, 09:34 AM
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I don't really save anything since I need a vehicle for getting to work sites out of town on occasion. I do save on not having to pay to park (about $30 a month) at my usual work site and $25 in gas to drive to work per month. But as a result of using the bike I spend money on maintaining the bikes, had to buy new panniers this month, some clothing and a couple of other accessories. So commuting by bike is probably costing me money at this point. Now if I did not need the car to go to other work sites and could ditch it I would save a bundle.
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Old 02-07-12, 09:38 AM
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i don't have a car. so on days when i don't ride, i'm on the train. a round trip train ticket to work costs me $8.50, so everyday that i ride my bike, i'm saving $8.50.

i average about 20 days of riding a month which pencils out to $170/month ($2,040/year) i'm saving by commuting by bike instead of taking the train. i do have to pay for things like bike maintenance and accessories that sometimes wear out, but those costs come nowhere close to $170/month ($2,040/year).

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Old 02-07-12, 09:40 AM
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I don't save anything. All of the $ I save on gas gets spent on commting stuff. Although, I enjoy buying the commuting stuff more than I enjoy buying gas for the car.
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Old 02-07-12, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by MK313 View Post
I don't save anything. All of the $ I save on gas gets spent on commting stuff. Although, I enjoy buying the commuting stuff more than I enjoy buying gas for the car.
I'm with ya, it would be cheaper to just keep my car limping along than the upkeep on my commuters. But for what it's worth, I haven't bought gasoline for two years now. Although I'm down to the point where it'll give me the LOW FUEL alert in the next trip or two.
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Old 02-07-12, 10:06 AM
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My stats are similar to the OP's. Commute is slightly longer, my car gets slightly better mileage, but it works out that I save close to a gallon of gas per commute. Not a bad thing.
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Old 02-07-12, 10:09 AM
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If you listen to my cager wife, then bike commuting is costing us way too much. She doesn't want to hear that I've invested less in 3+ years in bike related stuff than she's spends per month on vehicle ownership- the car note alone is more than what I paid for my bike.
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Old 02-07-12, 10:14 AM
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The IRS considers the mileage reimbursement rate to be $0.55/mile. Don't just count gas, count oil, maintenance, tires, depreciation, gym time that you now have to trudge on the treadmill, etc. etc.
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Old 02-07-12, 10:22 AM
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What is this gym time that you're referring to??
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Old 02-07-12, 10:23 AM
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Probably $4000-$5000 a year by not owning, operating, and parking a car in a major metro area.
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Old 02-07-12, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Scheherezade View Post
Probably $4000-$5000 a year by not owning, operating, and parking a car in a major metro area.
WORD!

by not owning a car i save thousands and thousands a year (a parking space in my condo building would cost me $3,000/year alone, and that's just to park the damn thing), but i thought this thread was specifically about how much money you save commuting to work on a bicycle vs. other means of transportation (car, transit, walking, mule, etc.).
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Old 02-07-12, 10:32 AM
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We got rid of one car a couple of years ago. When I didn't need a vehicle for work (I used to do field IT service for a state agency) I got rid of the car and got my 12th motorcycle . I also ride whatever bicycle is available. My motorcycle is now my backup and foul weather ride. We keep the SUV for travel and pulling the BBQ cook trailer and utility trailer. Off the top we saved about $800 a year in insurance along with gas and upkeep on the car. It's been well worth it for us.
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Old 02-07-12, 10:54 AM
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Wow! How come my S10 doesn't measure up to others? Mine gets right at 20mpg. The only reason I keep it is because every time I turn the key it starts.

I don't save that much in gas. My round trip is 10mi. But by not driving that 50 miles per week I am saving on maintenance. For me probably not much more than a couple thousand a year.
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Old 02-07-12, 10:59 AM
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We're car-lite, one car. By chopping a car out of our budget and riding instead, we save around $2,000/yr -- monthly payment on used car, repairs/maintenance, insurance, gas. Of all the expenses saved by giving up a car, gas is by far the least of them.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:02 AM
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A fellow Chicagoan knows how much it cost to get places! I (sparingly) drive a Subaru Impreza WRX. It get 17mpg, city and uses 93 octane premium gasoline. Right now, premium gas is about $3.90 per gallon. Last summer it got to $4.98 a gallon. When I do the math, that's almost 30 cents a mile. My commute is almost 10 miles, which is almost $3 per trip. that works out to $60 a month, which may not sound like a lot, but that's easily an electric bill, gas bill...etc.

Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
WORD!

by not owning a car i save thousands and thousands a year (a parking space in my condo building would cost me $3,000/year alone, and that's just to park the damn thing), but i thought this thread was specifically about how much money you save commuting to work on a bicycle vs. other means of transportation (car, transit, walking, mule, etc.).
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Old 02-07-12, 11:26 AM
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I save $10 a day in direct out-of-pocket costs - gas and parking.
I'm not sure what kind of crazy maintenance and up keep you all are doing strictly as a result of commuting, but unless you are buying new brake pads, tires and chains every week I can't imagine how it could possibly negate what you save.
Also, for me, my bikes are a hobby I'd spend money on anyway, so I don't count those costs against my commuting savings.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:38 AM
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My savings probably aren't that dramatic, since I own and operate a car alongside my bike that gets pretty good fuel economy (around 45 UKmpg). However, every trip I take on a bike is a fuel saving, so by not using the car for short trips, I'm saving a bit of cash. Cycling into town saves on parking fees as well. I also find it's often actually quicker to get around town by bike, since the roads here are rather awkward in design. On the bike I can easily dismount and hop over the railway line using a footbridge etc.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:48 AM
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The main savings for us is that we're a one car family. If I didn't bike commute, we'd have to buy a second car. As for gas prices, I don't think it's fair to count fuel for the car, but not fuel for the bike (extra food). My daily commute burns at least 1000 calories, and to be honest, those extra calories do not come from cheap junk food. Essentially, I eat what normally eat, except 50% more of it. So 1/3rd of my grocery bill is what I consider the food cost of commuting. On the whole, that's pretty much the same as what I would pay in gas (food is expensive here, and we have a very fuel efficient car). I realize not everyone looks at it this way, however.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffpoulin View Post
As for gas prices, I don't think it's fair to count fuel for the car, but not fuel for the bike (extra food).
i don't count food because i have the metabolism of a tortoise. my body probably burns ~5 calories/mile on my bike rides; i really don't need to eat extra food because of commuting.
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Old 02-07-12, 12:04 PM
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I'll probably live many years longer due to the health benefits of bike commuting. Those extra years are probably going to wipe out any savings in the short run.
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Old 02-07-12, 12:06 PM
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I just started commuting. I'm not really sure I'm saving much $$ by commuting. Round trip it's only 3 miles. But as a T2 diabetic, the extra 15 miles a week (if I ride every day), just might be helping to save my life!

Ok... maybe a little dramatic. I just wanted to contribute

I am liking the ride though. So maybe it's just saving my sanity. Either way, win-win.
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Old 02-07-12, 12:10 PM
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How much I save depends on how much I work, as I need my truck for my job (need it to carry all my equipment). The less I work, the less I drive and the more I cycle and save. It costs $80 (CAD) to tank my truck right up. $6 for my WR250R when I have it on the road.
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Old 02-07-12, 12:14 PM
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At my old office, many of my coworkers parked in the adjacent parking structure, which cost $150/month. So, I figured that bike commuting saved me $1800/year without even figuring in fuel.
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Old 02-07-12, 12:17 PM
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We're transitioning from a 2 car family with two moderate car payments (we purchased newer used cars at the time) to a car-lite (single car) family with no payments.

When we sold one of our financed cars, we immediately saved $540 per month in payment, $110 per month in insurance, and nothing on gas because I wasn't driving it (I was riding), Add to that the annual registration, inspection basic maintenance, etc etc etc, and it is easy to see what a tremendous cost comes with owning a $20-25k vehicle.

Now we own a 21 year old volvo that we paid cash for and spent some money up front for maintenance, and are in the process of selling our other financed car, which happens to be a prius, so the bicycle vs gas cost savings for my 7-8 mile one way commute is negligible. The main cost is ownership, not gas.

The ownership cost of the volvo is quite low, and it is a constant at the moment (we're not likely to become car free just yet). It is what it is, but we've cut almost $14k per year out of our cost of living by eliminating two newer cars. Good riddance.
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Old 02-07-12, 12:44 PM
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I don't really save anything since I don't drive anyways.
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