Earlier this week I hit 1,000 bike commuting miles for 2013. Being the nerd that I am, I thought it would be “fun” to figure out how much money I’ve saved by riding instead of driving. Let’s just say that I wasn’t too happy when I was done.
I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that our SUV gets about 18 miles per gallon. Riding 1,000 miles instead of driving means I saved about 56 gallons worth of gas. Except I didn’t really save 1,000 miles worth of driving. Some nights my wife would pick me up at the train station (if we had somewhere to be and I wouldn’t have time to ride home and shower), in which case I saved exactly zero miles of driving that day. But, for the sake of ease, let’s just say that I really did save 1,000 miles worth of driving. 56 gallons of gas, even at its peak of about $3.89 gallon, adds up to be $217.84. I know that there are other expenses involved with driving a vehicle besides gas, but 1,000 miles isn’t enough to add in an oil change or that much wear and tear in general. Plus, we still need our vehicle, so we’re paying for insurance regardless of whether or not I take it to work that day.
We’re not going to talk about how much I’ve spent on my bike(s) in the past year. That would just send me down the road to needing Zoloft. And we’re definitely not going to add up how much it costs for me to eat 50,000 calories worth of food, a rough approximation of how many calories I burned commuting 1,000 miles. Because if we factor those things in, I’m losing money bike commuting.
It’s a good thing I enjoy it. Because it definitely isn’t saving any money like they said it would.