Friday, January 27, 2012

Bike Commuting: It's more fun... Period

Photo courtesy of Rodney Payumo

I love the freedom of driving. But the high price of toll fees and fuel turns me off and forces me to find alternative ways to feed my need to go places. Commuting by public transport is a good alternative to going places relatively fast but does not offer the freedom to go wherever one chooses on a whim. Biking is the best thing and I offer 3 reasons why:

  1. It does not require fuel nor paying toll fees. Being human powered, a bicycle saves energy. The human "engine" is about 25 times more efficient than a typical gas engine on a per weight basis. Of course one must take into account the real cost involved in getting food into our mouths and the cost involved in producing gasoline. But my argument is: we eat a lot anyway, and we pay to go to the gym to lose weight. Why not use the bicycle? It makes more sense. Bikes are not allowed on SLEX or paid tollways so there is no cost involved in paying toll.
  2. Biking gives you the freedom to chose your path. Have it your way, so says Burger King. In biking, you have the choice of roads as long as it is on public domain. A mountain bike can take me anywhere, on roads, on single tracks, hard packed dirt, or mud. I can make quick detours if the traffic ahead is clogged. Can you do that on a car?
  3. A bike is cheaper to acquire and maintain. Let's do a simple comparison. You can buy a decent bike with decent parts at less than PhP20,000. Or you could go all out and buy a built bike with bling factor for PhP 90,000. Maintenance cost? barring all major breakdowns, a bike can get by only with minimal maintenance of just lubricating your chain for a cost of PhP300 a bottle for a year. That makes a total of PhP20,300 on the first year. Now let's get to the car. You buy an entry level Suzuki Alto for PhP 400,000. Add the cost of registration PhP3000, Insurance PhP20,000. Add the fuel costs and parking fees, toll fees etc. Need I continue? I'd rather not.
I salute the one who invented the bicycle!
Part of the beauty of bike commute is the freedom you get in choosing your route. I get the best of cost effectiveness and mobility. This was taken Januay 26, 2012 at Ft. Bonifacio near the American Cemetery.


Shiela RC said...

one of my wildest dreams is to bike around the country, but at 41, i don't know if it's still possible. you're such a lucky guy for being able to enjoy nature, be healthy, save and love the environment as well!

Gerald Jerico Velayo said...

Sheila, it is still possible. I know of a septuagenarian who tours the world in a bicycle>

At our age, it's just the beginning of life. Get on the saddle my friend. You can do it!