This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Commuting and new numbers

   We all know that people have all sorts of reasons for not commuting.  One of the other blogs I read has steered me to an article on the subject by Mr. Money Mustache.   He presents a lot of really compelling numbers to justify two things, living closer to work and biking rather than driving.  I really recommend reading the post, but I think he is way too conservative in his estimates.
   It brings to mind a conversation I had not long ago about the money I have saved over the years.  I estimate that I have saved over $140000 since I was in college, and that was not commuting religiously on a daily basis to save money.  One of the additional things I have noticed in my work the past several years in financial planning is how pervasive our car-centric values are in this country.  Ignoring the fact that I am an incurable cyclist, I find the biggest single waste of money in American households is the purchase of new cars.  People are preoccupied with cars, not for transportation, but as a means of self expression.  They consider their cars a rolling symbol of themselves and what they have accomplished.  Unfortunately, if they have borrowed the money for a new car, it is really what they want to accomplish and who they want to be.  This preoccupation destroys the household finances across the country.   New cars lose more than 60% of their value during the first 4 years of ownership.  That means a $500 car payment represents an immediate loss of $300 per month.   Few families can afford that. That occurs if  the car is bought and stored in the garage, the cost per mile to drive occurs in addition to that loss.
      All this is the result of Americans drinking the kool-aid offered up by Madison Ave. which dictates that what you have is more important than what you do.  But I am preaching to the choir again, all we can do is share the information while our friends and coworkers stare, blink, stare and stare and blink.

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