One of my not-so-secret obsessions is this group called Red, Bike and Green. According to their mission: Red, Bike and Green “is a community-building collective of Black urban cyclists seeking to improve the physical and mental health, economy and local environment of African Americans by creating a relevant and sustainable Black bike culture.” They have chapters in Oakland, Atlanta, and Chicago and are forming one in New York as well.
After being introduced to the group, I started paying a bit more attention to biking as a real option for commuting and a way I could save on gas and help the environment from time to time. What I didn’t peep was how much money I might save. The latest installment of GOOD magazine’s Bike Nation series reports that Americans save $4.6 billion each year because of biking, and it could easily turn into more than $7 billion saved:
GOOD breaks it down:
The Sierra Club, the League of American Bicyclists and the National of Council of La Raza took a look at the costs of each ride in a car and the cost of each ride on a bike. While a ride in a car costs about six times the amount a ride on a bike does, the actual dollar amounts attached to each individual decision are tiny: about sixty cents per mile for a car ride and about ten cents per mile for a bike ride.
But even in this bike-skeptical country, people are taking more than four billion bike rides each year. Since those trips average a little more than two miles, a bike rider only saves a dollar or so for each individual trip. But over time, those savings add up—like brewing coffee at home instead of buying a venti latte from Starbucks every day.
Right now, avid bikers are the ones who are saving the most. But as the groups’ report points out, if all drivers took just one round-trip per week by bike the savings on gas alone would be enormous—more than $7 billion.
Are you and avid biker? Would you become one to save money?