BBC: Cycle 'to save cash, not planet'

girv73
girv73 Posts: 842
edited September 2008 in Commuting chat
Cycle 'to save cash, not planet'

"Commuters would most likely abandon their cars to make financial savings rather than protect the environment, according to a survey."
...
"74% said financial savings would be the biggest incentive to change ways, 10% said environmental, 4% cited time-savings, 6% thought health benefits were most important while 6% were not sure;"

Cycle commuting costs me more money as the Mrs. still takes the car to her place of employment, driving right past my workplace on the way :lol: Primarily I do it because I enjoy it, but what about you? I wonder how this forum's members' reasons compare to the survey results?
Today is a good day to ride
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Comments

  • Clever Pun
    Clever Pun Posts: 6,778
    I really enjoy the commute it's the freedom you get and lack of hassle compared to public transport
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  • Jamey
    Jamey Posts: 2,152
    I've always believed that if you want people to do something you have to make it worth their while, which usually* means making it cheap and easy.

    *But not always, as the current trend for local, organic food (particularly meat) seems to be showing.
  • can't we choose more than one answer, I'd tick all the box's......cycling is saving me £100's per month, plus I can put my milage through the books and get 20p per mile. Thats an extra £200 per month in my pocket. Its fun and good for my general level of fitnes, I just need to find time to get to the gym though !!!
  • pst88
    pst88 Posts: 621
    I'm probably not saving any cash overall if you compare what I would spend on buses with what I spend on bikes. Definitely is a saving compare to to having a car though. I commute by bike because I get to combine getting to work with exercise, and spend money on something I enjoy rather than sitting on a bus for an hour a day with people I don't like.
    Bianchi Via Nirone Veloce/Centaur 2010
  • ellieb
    ellieb Posts: 436
    The only thing about your poll is that the options are mutually exclusive. I would tick yes to all of the above. The primary benefit for me is health: However if it wasn't fun I wouldn't do it. Likewise if it wrecked the planet.
  • I put health reasons, but it's fun makes for a very close second.

    I find I'm more alert when I get to work - It wakes you up. I love not having to sit in traffic, I can just scoot past it all, watching the same cars go past me time & time again when they do get to go 30mph for a brief period before stopping at the next lights or getting bogged down in heavier traffic.

    I can get to work almost as quickly as if I drive unless the schools are on holidays, just keeping a steady pace instead of stop-go-stop-go - Much more rewarding than sitting there pressing pedals & steering a wheel a bit, watching the MPG gauge showing some awful figures :shock:

    It keeps you fit & trim.

    I certainly don't think cycling is environmentally friendly - Cycling is, but driving isn't that bad. A car or bike consumes far more energy during its construction than it does during the life the end-user gives it. The worst thing for the environment we can all do, is buy a new car or bike! (Obviously cars make a much bigger difference than a bikes, by a long way - in both initial construction & consumables)
  • For me, it's pretty much all-of-the-above. However, if I consider removing each in turn as a benefit, it makes me think that the health benefits and the fun are the most important aspects of my daily commute. Not sure which is most important so I plumped for health benefits... but it is bloody good fun too!

    _
  • dafruk
    dafruk Posts: 125
    It's fun, quicker, healthy, cheap (still to be proven given my love of buying "stuff"), trees do what now? oh right, go trees.

    Pretty much says it in order. Wish someone would invent a environmentally friendly way of making power/transport to save me having to make token gestures that don't really address the true issues.
    FCN 7- Tourer, panniers, Lycra and clipless

    What is this game you speak of? Of course I'm not playing...
  • girv73
    girv73 Posts: 842
    The forum poll system only allows one answer (right?), so choose your primary reason please!

    I chose the questions to reflect the survey from the news item.

    I enjoy it, but I also enjoy the health benefits and not stressing about leaving work on time to get the bus and then share it with hordes of school kids and THEIR FREAKIN MOBILE MUSIC PHONES!!1!
    Today is a good day to ride
  • I just voted for health benefits as I agree with most above, it is quite expensive to commute by bike.The green issues are important to me, but is an added bonus rather than the main reason. I do think that its good fun and once I've allowed for the shower at each end then it does take a bit more time compared to the train, but about the same compared to the car (when the schools are in session).I cannot catch a bus, there are plenty of them, but I just cannot catch a bus.
    FCN 8

    2009 Boardman Hybrid Pro
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,117
    Can I have all of the above options? :lol:

    Basically, it's bike or walk or car at Bucks end...No point getting a car for 2 miles, health, etc...

    ...and in London, bike or tube...tube turns me into a pent up bundle of psychopathic rage, so I'd rather bike it, frankly...so health again.

    The financial end of things...hmmm, as a person who understands numbers, I'm not sure that riding rather than tube saves much...(think: bike, locks, lights, clothes, upgrades, tyres, shoes, gloves...lid...more upgrades...the box from Wiggle on my desk...etc.)

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • Interestingly and I am sure this will ENRAGE the enviro-mentalists but according to something I read in new scientist magazine cyclists actually produce as much carbon dioxide as a modern family saloon mile for mile.
    Happily I don't believe a word of the enviro-toss anyway so I do it because its fun.
    The gear changing, helmet wearing fule.
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  • snellgrove wrote:
    I put health reasons, but it's fun makes for a very close second..
    +1

    The most common questions to my wife at work when she recently started cycling were whether it was to save money or to be environmentally friendly. Well, we've still got our annual season tickets (so it isn't financial - in fact it costs more overall) and we are only replacing the train/tram parts of our journeys, not the 8 miles in the car (so it isn't really for environmental reasons).

    I think my wife's reasons - now that she has done it a dozen times - are fun first, then health :)

    Stuart
  • girv73
    girv73 Posts: 842
    @boybiker I'd like to see that NS article if it's online! (love the avatar BTW, I think I'll steelz it)
    Today is a good day to ride
  • Littigator
    Littigator Posts: 1,262
    boybiker wrote:
    Interestingly and I am sure this will ENRAGE the enviro-mentalists but according to something I read in new scientist magazine cyclists actually produce as much carbon dioxide as a modern family saloon mile for mile.
    Happily I don't believe a word of the enviro-toss anyway so I do it because its fun.

    Too right you shouldn't believe a word of it. Even car manufacturers admit to an average family saloon producing about 160gs of co2 per km (equivalent to about 3 mars bars), see below.

    If a cyclist were producing this much we'd actually be spitting wads of solid carbon out as we cycled...doesn't sound very likely does it. Unless they are also accounting for the carbon produced in the production of the food we eat to power ourselves and during the production of the bike.

    Even then I still cannot conceive how a bicycle (one of the most efficient modes of transport for energy consumed per km) can possibly be as bad as an internal combustion engine which is hugely inefficient.

    Anyone of a more scientific bent care to argue otherwise?

    [imghttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/67/Irish_Car_CO2_Label.svg/300px-Irish_Car_CO2_Label.svg.png[/img]
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  • Littigator
    Littigator Posts: 1,262
    Sorry, here's the scale

    300px-Irish_Car_CO2_Label.svg.png
    Roadie FCN: 3

    Fixed FCN: 6
  • i take the bike, it's not one of the *fun* bikes ie it's a big heavy workhorse when the bike can either get to a place before the car, and or the place i need to be is CPZ. public transport while good for outer-inner is not great going from outer london to outer london.
  • chuckcork
    chuckcork Posts: 1,471
    I calculated that to save money by cycling, compared to getting the bus, I'd have to spend nothing for the next 52 weeks or so that would be (commuter) cycling related, which is unfeasible as over the 12000km distance I'd do I'd still be spending on things like tyres, tubes, lubricants, bike parts, clothing etc. Reaility is that I'd never in fact catch up, and by the time I did I'd need a new bike!

    What cycle does do is gets me to work just as fast as the bus (20 minute walk to and from the bus stop) with none of the inflexibility of the bus or the ppor service.

    And as a bonus I get to enjoy the famous Irish rain (heaven to an Australian boy who grew up not seeing it rain for months at a time)
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • dondare
    dondare Posts: 2,113
    boybiker wrote:
    Interestingly and I am sure this will ENRAGE the enviro-mentalists but according to something I read in new scientist magazine cyclists actually produce as much carbon dioxide as a modern family saloon mile for mile.
    Happily I don't believe a word of the enviro-toss anyway so I do it because its fun.

    Presumably the family in the car aren't breathing.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • Did a bit of digging around and it appears that about 20% of a vehicle's CO2 emissions can be attributed to its manufacture.

    That's less than I would have thought, but there you go.

    Of course, the greatest global warming contribution from cycle usage is from methane, resulting from high-carb diets.

    Re: the BBC poll - bear in mind that its a poll of a bunch of hypothetical cyclists, not people who actually cycle, or in all likelihood will ever cycle. They are imagining what their motivations to continue to do an activity that they've never done might be.

    But who am I to suggest that its a load of journalistic bollocks.
  • richk
    richk Posts: 564
    It's fun & it's healthier. Doesn't save me any time (though I do try to beat the clock) & doesn't save me any money (I have a season ticket on the train anyway).
    There is no secret ingredient...
  • The "All of the above" option was omitted from the Poll.
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  • girv73
    girv73 Posts: 842
    The original poll was conducted by Travelwise NI, a government organisation tasked with improving "sustainable" transport. The question they actually asked (by stopping 500 random people in the street) was along the lines of "What would make you change your ways?" rather than "What makes you cycle?" and their results included all non-single occupant driving means of commuting, not just cycling. For my own interest, I wondered why people who have already changed their ways to cycling actually did it, and it seems fitness and fun are the chief drivers amongst this group!
    Today is a good day to ride
  • _Brun_
    _Brun_ Posts: 1,740
    My alternative to cycling is the tube, which is relatively environmentally friendly anyway. Having just spent about 18 month's worth of tube fare on a new bike, it's hard to argue that it's cheaper either.

    On the other hand... It's definitely quicker (20 mins tops versus 30 minimum), definitely keeps me fit, and there definitely ain't much fun to be had on the tube unless you get a kick from close physical contact with complete strangers*.

    If I had to pick one of the above it'd be the time saving, particularly because there are fewer delays with the bike than on public transport.

    *This can quickly lead to threats of arrest/violence if the carriage is not sufficiently crowded. Apparently.
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,117
    girv73 wrote:
    The original poll was conducted by Travelwise NI...by stopping 500 random people in the street

    That's a spectacularly poor way to obtain valid results. And the poll size was too small. So the final results should be taken with more than a little salt.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • dondare
    dondare Posts: 2,113
    Many years ago a sample of motorists were asked what could be done to persuade them to cycle. (The Govt. at the time didn't want to spend money on building more roads to match predictions on increasing car use, and were looking for a cheap alternative. Encouraging people to cycle instead seemed a good idea at the time.)
    Only about 3% of those polled admitted that they'd never cycle no matter what the Govt. did. The rest said that they really wanted to cycle but that "the roads were too dangerous". They said that they would cycle if the roads were made safer for cyclists by the provision of cycle-lanes. Well, green paint is cheaper than new roads so that became Govt. strategy. So now we have a lot of crappy cycle-lanes that we don't want but are expected to use by the motorists who said that they'd use them but now won't.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • biondino
    biondino Posts: 5,990
    I'm not anti nice generous green cycle lanes on the left side of regular roads as their presence at least helps keep cars aware we might be there and that we have a right to be there.
  • JMC39
    JMC39 Posts: 38
    girv73 wrote:
    Cycle 'to save cash, not planet'
    Cycle commuting costs me more money as the Mrs. still takes the car to her place of employment, driving right past my workplace on the way :lol: Primarily I do it because I enjoy it, but what about you? I wonder how this forum's members' reasons compare to the survey results?

    Snap!
    FNC 13 - Nobbly MTB, Pannier, Normal clothes, and GPS!
  • AndyManc
    AndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Probably 'all of the above' but I chose " Health benefits " , if it wasn't doing me any good ... I wouldn't be going out in the freeezing rain surrounded by nutters :P
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  • if i didnt cycle i would be spending about £18 a week on bus fares and then arrive late cos its a bus and never is on time also im limited to times i can go places, cycling is more fun and cheaper