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?

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  • MarloweOverShakespeare

    Preach everyone! Especially @ omfg, RJ, and JC! I haven’t owned a car yet and I walk, bike and utilize public trans (which provides bike racks!).

    But one thing no one has mentioned yet is the dangers of God’s power shown ever so often in our WEATHER!

    And for this reason I will own a car in he future. Until then BIKE ON!

    P

    • omfg

      as you can imagine, the whether out here in l.a. is pretty mild compared to other places.

      but i bike in the rain.

      i started considering biking year round when i came across a blog called let’s go ride a bike. one of the bloggers is in chicago and she bikes all year (she takes mass transit too) – in that cold crazy chicago whether. there’s also another blog – lovely bicycle (i think) – where the blogger rides all year in massachusetts.

      i also came across a youtube channel (markenlei) that shows dutch people biking all year – rain, shine, snow – that was very inspirational.

      i’ve actually fallen off my bike a few times but it had nothing to do with whether.

      i enjoy this lifestyle because it’s simple and easy and healthy. people ask me if i’m saving for a car and i’m not really (i’d rather save for a down payment on a home). i have an old car sitting around that i don’t use – haven’t in a few years now. why do i wanna start sitting in traffic or buying gas if i don’t absolutely have to? i’m cool with a rail/bus pass and my bike even though people think i’m weird for doing this.

  • Abril

    I went car-free a year ago when I went to live in Barcelona. While there I lived without a car and loved it. I loved walking everywhere, bicycling or taking public transit. When I returned to the States, I decided to give up my Mazda to my sister and continue living car-free. I’ve lost weight, I’ve gained muscle, and I love all that money I use to spend on maintaining a car still in my checking account at the end of the month. Instead of spending money on an expensive item that depreciates in value, I’ve paid off a large portion of my student loans and will be saving up for a trip to London next year. It’s not always been easy. It’s definitely a different mindset. You can’t just drive to Wal-Mart if need two little things. You learn to plan. It’s not super fast sometimes and there sometimes when I do borrow or rent a car for certain events, but overall I don’t see car anywhere in my near future.

    Good luck!