Commuting to Work by Bike to Save Money

As May just started, I am now adjusting to my new commuting schedule. As you will recall, in the fall, winter, and early spring, I commute to work by train. This means a long winter of cold walks to and from the train. But, in the late spring and summer, I enjoy the opportunity to bike to work. Saving money by biking to work┬áis practical for me. More importantly, it’s not just a way to save money – it’s a great way to get exercise at the same time. We all know that life gets busy and so being able to multi-task in this way helps me out.

Preparing for the Change in Commuting

Making the change from taking the train every day to biking to work isn’t as easy as it sounds. There is a little bit of work that goes into preparing for the change. The first and probably the most important is trying to get into shape. I don’t worry too much about this as I only have to bike 5 miles each way, but it does mean that I am biking inside after work at least twice a week. I trust that I will be able to handle the distance (as i did last year) and get into shape as I get started.

Another important step of preparation is getting your bike ready. This means getting a tune up and buying all of the necessary accessories. While everyone has their own accessories, here’s a list of what I am using this year:

  • Water Bottle (this is a necessity)
  • Front and Back Bike Lights (safety first)
  • Mirror (great for weaving in an out of NJ traffic)
  • Small Air Pump (for emergency flats)
  • Replacement Tube (for emergency flats)
  • Multi-tool (this has everything you need to make adjustments)
  • Bike Rack (over back tire)
  • Panniers (great for avoiding riding with a backpack)

This year is the first year of using the last two items. I went through the entire summer last year with riding with everything on my back. This meant the change of clothes, small towel, and my lunch was on my back. It wasn’t a lot of weight, but it did make my back a lot sweatier when it was 100 degrees out. I am too cheap to buy the panniers that I am using this year – so I was happy to win them in a bike commuting contest last year. (FYI: The panniers were the second place prize. The first place prize was an electronic bike by trek valued at $2,000. Yes, I am still a little disappointed that I didn’t win the bike.)

For those who don’t follow me on twitter or haven’t liked my facebook page, I got my bike ready for the commuting season a couple weeks ago. If you want to see what my bike looks like fully-equipped (without the water bottle) for the miles ahead, I’ve provided a picture below.

Commute to Work

If you are wanting a great way to get in shape, save a few bucks in gas, and save the environment, why not consider biking to work.

15 Responses to Commuting to Work by Bike to Save Money

  1. This is a great idea. My office just moved and it’s closer than ever to me, about 1.5 miles and there are easy bike trails to it. This is a reminder on how I need to start planning on leaving my computer and heavy things at the office and pack light so I can start biking there. Now that the weather is finally warm enough to do it, I’m going to get started soon. Thanks for the reminder! Great strategy for physical, mental and financial health!

    • 20sfinances says:

      Nice – 1.5 miles isn’t that far at all once you et the hang of it. I have been packing pretty heavy now that I have panniers and it hurts going up the hills. :)

  2. Modest Money says:

    I’d love to be able to bike to work. It would be a great way to fit in some exercise and save money. Unfortunately I’m a heavy sweater which doesn’t make it very practical. I’d literally need to be working at a job that had a shower.

    • 20sfinances says:

      Yes, it is important. In the colder months (May), it would be manageable for me to go without a shower afterwards, but since my work has a gym and place to shower, I take full advantage. Some people consider “sink-showers” where you just take a wash cloth and wipe yourself down.

  3. I work in the bicycling capitol of the Northwest, but I live much too far away to use a bicycle. This post reminded me that I need to look at the bus route, though, because I have a free monthly bus pass that I can use! Great work on saving some cash and keeping in shape :)

    • 20sfinances says:

      I know several people who commute 15-20 miles each way in the summer. That’s too far for me to ride, but anything is possible if you are that committed. You could also drive half way and commute by bike the other half.

  4. Very true. I mostly don’t want to deal with the hassle of biking when I know I can ride the bus for free :). Also, I don’t have a street bicycle, so that would be an added expense.

  5. Chuck says:

    Riding a bike can solve the countries health problems for sure. Could be problematic though when it snows. Regardless we should all work closer to home even if it is for less money and peddle baby!

  6. My first full time job was two miles from my home and only paid the minimum wage of $8/hr. Biking to work was the best choice I made that year. No vehicle ownership saved me a bundle.

  7. This is awesome. I really wish I lived close enough to work so that I could bike or walk to save on gas. I’m going to look into public transportation when I move and go back to school, in order to save money on gas as well since I’ll be a broke student.

  8. Living in Denver commuting to work is you live in the city is very easy and popular.

  9. Poor Student says:

    My new job is about 3.5 miles away. I am a heavy sweater but my job is in manual labour outside so I need not worry about being too sweaty for work, I can still get pretty uncomfortable though. The job is far enough away though that I do not chance biking if the forecast calls for rain at any point in the day.

  10. When I first started my current job, I lived 6 miles away and was in between cars. The bike commute was doable, but a bit hilly for my taste. The biggest problem was that I had to ride unlit roads well before the sun rose.

  11. I love biking. I try to bike about 2 miles a day back and forth from my synagouge. Great exercise and I love the gas savings.

  12. Bichon Frise says:

    I bike every day, rain or shine, no snow to many foots of snow, 8 miles one way. My reasons listed with most important first: 1) My sanity, 2) My sanity, 3) exercise, 4) save money, 5) the environment.

    My goal is to put more miles on a bike than on my car!

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