Repost: Written by me, originally published by Bike Shop Hub (now Campfire Cycling)
A recent post on Cyclelicio.us discussed the economics of car commuting as a function of personal time.
James Schwartz at the Urban Country figures car ownership costs the average American about two hours a day – that works out to about 500 hours each year to buy, insure, and maintain a car. Compare with the 20% recommended for transportation costs by financial planners and the 13% the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says Americans spend on transportation (2009 numbers).
The difference between an hour and two hours might seem like a lot – but compare that against the four minutes Schwartz figures we spend to buy and care for a $1500 commuter bicycle.
The most astonishing thing about this information is that, until now, I haven’t found an excuse to post this video from the Canadian band Metric performing their song Handshakes.
The song is basically Schwartz’ research set to music, including this poignant refrain:
Buy this car to drive to work“Handshakes” by Metric
Drive to work to pay for this car
(Repeat a zillion times)
This music might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the video and lyrics are safe for work – unless you get carried away and start throwing furniture around. Commute by Bike takes no responsibility for the consequences of your head banging.
Photo: Nicholas Lucien (CC BY 2.0)