I finally got someone on the phone at One Stop (at the U) who discovered that my appeal to the hold on my financial aid had been marked as processed when really it had just been ignored. They put me on hold for a while and got it approved, so now my tuition will be covered by a loan to me! Hooray!
Now, with the extra money do I buy a bus pass or a bicycle? Jeremy/Jamie/Boot said that my steel-framed Schwinn was not worth fixing up, but he may just be a bicycle snob. If I were to purchase a bicycle, it would be with the intent to commute to school/work every day. Unfortunately, it would not save me any money unless it was very nearly free. I spend approximately $50 on gas each month, plus $70 for parking and $50 for insurance (for just the green car). Unless I were able to completely get rid of the green car, I would still have to pay the $50 a month in insurance. Don’t look at me like that, I’m not ready to quit driving cold turkey.
So that leaves just $120 a month savings from not driving. If I can bike through September that is just $360 in savings, which, according to JeremyJamieBoot won’t buy a halfway decent road/commuter bike. I refuse to ride a mountain-bike style bike. They make me turn green and break things. Add in that I’m probably not ready for a half hour commute with a thirty pound backback up and down hills in the sweltering July and a bike becomes less of a savings and more of a recipe for heat stroke. Whatever it takes to convince myself of the value of an oven on wheels, because my car is just such a thing.
The recommended time to budget for a bus trip door to door is a half an hour, which conveniently is also the time it takes me to drive/walk or bike. Unfortunately that doesn’t include showing up at the bus stop fifteen minutes early so that I don’t miss the bus. It also doesn’t include missed transfers, so who knows. I’m buying convenience and global warming when I burn money in the direction of my car.
Your task is to not only recommend that I start biking to work but also provide me with cost effective biking solutions. Where can I get a good commuting bike with drop or ram-horn handlebars and reasonably modern braking and shifting systems. I don’t care if the frame is soft steel, brittle aluminum or gleaming mithril. How much and where can I get it? Oh yeah, I want fenders and a rack thing for putting things on. And a pony. I definitely want a pony. In fact, forget the bike, just get me a pony.
What I don’t want are any cost-benefit analyses that include work lost for the heart attack that I will have in ten years if I don’t start riding my bike to work. I think that the lard and bacon sandwiches (hold the bread) that I enjoy for my nightly repast cancel out any amount of exercise that I might care to partake in. I think that I’m having a heart attack right now!