One Year of Biking to Work
August 2017 rolled around, and it marks one year of me riding my electric bike to/from work on a regular basis. Through the cold of winter to the heat of summer, I’ve ridden through most of the extremes we get here in southern California. I tried to stick to a schedule of riding four days per week, using the 5th day to rest and make sure my truck continues to work optimally. My daily ride is 8.69 miles each way, where as my driven commute is 10.5 miles each way (it’s faster to take the freeway). So over the course of the past 12 months (August 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017), I rode my bike to work a combined total of 164 days. For comparison, I drove my truck to work a total of 62 days, and a lot of those were due to California getting a much wetter-than-average winter. I don’t ride in the rain, to try and keep the bike in as optimal shape as possible. Doing some quick napkin math, that means I saved 3,444 miles that would have normally gone onto my truck by riding the bike 2800 miles instead.
During this period, I filled my truck’s gas tank a total of 15 times. All but two of these fill ups were before, during, or after a road trip. Any way I look at the numbers, it’s significant savings on fuel to keep the truck running by doing the bike thing. On the maintenance bike front, I’ve had a couple of flat tires, I’ve worn through the tread completely and had to replace the brake pads on the back wheel. Total spent on bike accessories and maintenance for the year comes out to $205. The battery still seems to hold a full charge, even after daily charging. I can still cruise on flat ground at 20+ mph with normal pedaling effort. I didn’t calculate the cost of electricity to charge my battery into this, as it doesn’t noticeably register on our monthly electric bill.
Using the federal standard mileage rate of 54¢ per mile, it would have cost me $2,562.84 to drive my truck to/from work every day of the past year. Using my trusty Bike Management application, I see that my current cost-per-mile for the electric bike is 45¢ per mile, costing $1,282. This includes all maintenance costs as well as the original purchase price. Without the purchase price included, I’m down to 6¢ per mile to ride the bike, costing me $171 for the year.
So after one year of biking, I’m still extremely happy with my decision to do it. Even on the days that I’m riding to work when it’s 34°F outside, or riding home in 110°F heat, I still find it worth it. I highly recommend anyone who wants to save money and stay relatively fit to consider cycling to work if the distance is feasible.
Happy riding everyone! 🚴