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The thing I like about biking

May 26, 2011
by Erin B

The thing I like about biking is that when I am biking I am thinking about biking.  I am keeping track of traffic and Toddler girl.  I am concentrating on shifting, especially on the Nishiki where I’m not that comfortable with all 21 gears yet.  I am watching for hazards and animals and people getting out of cars or running across the street.

I get a nice buzz from the exercise, but I also like biking because it gives me something to think about instead of having anxiety about how I’m going to pay the bills and how much that unexpected furnace repair is going to cost.  (It was $84, if you are interested).

I get to really concentrate on the now.

Since we are getting to the end of the month, let’s do a big bike sum up:

Amount spent on bikes this month : about $360 which includes the Nishiki, a new saddle, some odds and ends to make it and Claire go and a new basket so I can carry stuff while I’m getting there.  This doesn’t include the wacky break even trading done to swap Victoria for Claire because it was wacky but more importantly, break even.

Amount saved on gas this month: about $67.  This is hard to calculate.  Every month I buy $200 in Gas cards on pay day before the money gets spend on other things.  Sometimes (rarely) we have a little left over at the end of the month.  Mostly, I run out of gas money before I run out of month.  This month, despite record high gas prices, I have $67 dollars left on the card and my car has a full gas tank.

It is going to take a long time to break even.  Especially since Claire really needs new tires and rims that will actually let her stop.  She came with the original chrome steel rims that are notorious for making it hard to break.  I have stuff on order at the Bike Doctor, but….  That’s going to easily be another $200.  For now, the Nishiki and the parts are riding around on my credit card.  When the new tires come in, they might have to join the “living on credit party.”

I hate doing that.  At the rate of gas savings, I won’t break even before the snow falls.  I know that as a long term thing, this will be good.  I know that biking is good for my health.  I feel stronger already.  Forgive me for whining a bit, but I am so frustrated with always dancing on the edge of bankruptcy.  We don’t have a lot of debt, other than the mortgage.  We also don’t have a plan to be able to pay off debt if we acquire any.

I am picking up some database work in the evenings to try to help pay for the home repairs we need.  With any luck, I should be able to make enough to pay for painting and windows.  I am working extra shifts this summer.  That will help.

And, everyday, I go ride my bike and just don’t think about it for a little while.

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