Yes, the initial cost of a nice bike and decent cycling gear can be pricey. But when you compare it to costs you’ll incur by not riding your bike, choosing cycling over the alternatives can save you lots of money — and we’re not even counting how much fun it is.
Here are 7 ways cycling will help keep cash in your wallet:
Sitting in rush hour traffic day after day has proven to increase stress levels. Daily exercise like cycling, on the other hand, has been proven to reduce stress and improve overall health.
Healthcare costs associated with heart disease, obesity and other common musculoskeletal issues that pop up as we age can end up costing thousands of dollars per year even with insurance. When you consider how cycling can strengthen muscles and joints, improve heart health, lower cholesterol, prevent diseases and lower body fat percentage, it’s easy to see how daily cycling can lower your yearly healthcare bill
When you combine the cost of a new car, insurance, gas and maintenance, you can expect to spend an average of $8,469 per year to own and operate a vehicle according to AAA’s recent evaluation, with costs above $10,000 for larger trucks.
Even if you get a nice bike and decent gear, annual costs to commute to work as a cyclist will average about $350–$500. Year after year, this adds up to some pretty significant savings.
AUTO INSURANCE COSTS
Sure, most of us will probably still own at least one car. And while that means insurance costs, if you ride your bike most of the time and can keep your annual car mileage in the 5,000 range, you can save big with reduced rates from most car insurance companies. You can also opt for a pay per mile auto insurance plan if you plan to use your vehicle less than 10,000 miles per year.
A membership to your local gym will likely cost $30–$100 a month — and most people don’t even end up using them. While you might have to spend a little money initially if you don’t have a bike, once you make your purchase there isn’t much to buy — and a good bike should last you for years and years if properly maintained. This could mean extra savings for you and a cheaper way to get in shape.
If you live or work in an urban area, then you know what a nightmare parking can be — not to mention how much damage it can do to your wallet day after day. One of the great things about commuting by bike is that you can park pretty much anywhere. In some situations, you may even be able to take your bike inside with you. And the best part is, no matter where you park your bike, it’s free.
Once you start riding, chances are you’ll want to take your bike out for a spin more and more often on those nice sunny days. This means you’ll probably spend less time at the movie theater, shopping and on other forms of leisurely activity that cost money.
If you get into cycling as a form of fitness and sport, the lifestyle change also likely means you’ll skip those late nights out on the town and opt for a good night’s sleep for your Saturday morning training ride instead.
READ MORE > A CYCLIST’S LOVE LETTER TO BIKE COMMUTING
Riding a bike to work instead of driving has been shown to increase overall productivity by 15% by getting your brain going and reducing your stress levels before the day begins. While this might not seem like it directly translates to monetary value, comparing your productivity with that of your coworkers makes for a pretty good argument when it’s time to ask for that raise during your annual review.