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Reasons you should use your Bicycle more instead of your Car

Have you ever thought of going without a car?

I have. Especially since I work out of my apartment.

But even if I didn’t… I remember I used to ride 5 miles to work on a bike on some days and it was great exercise.

Think about it. What if you didn’t have to pay for car insurance, monthly payments, oil changes, gasoline, and repair bills?

For most people, that’s a savings of more than $400 a month. That’s at least $4,800 every year.

That sounds like enough savings to be able to rent a car when you really need one.

On top of that, you’d have better health, stronger legs, a healthier heart, and a bigger smile.

All you have to do is prepare yourself. If the ride’s too long, think about electrically assisted power or using public transportation.

If it rains, get an awesome raincoat. If you need to bring stuff home, get a sweet basket and a kick ass waterproof backpack.

This little illustration says it all. Thank you to whoever created it because it’s inspiring me to put my car on eBay and finally just let it go.

The Benefits of a Bicycle and Going Car-Less

If you’re thinking about living your life without a car, or if you just want to learn how you can use your bicycle way more, grab Tammy Strobel’s book on how to go Car-Less with a Bicycle.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 15 comments… add one }
  • sesameB
    February 4, 2012, 11:57 am

    Nice to see this article. I bike, too.
    Rainy day in rural Arkansas

  • sesameB
    February 4, 2012, 1:36 pm

    Remembering the late Canadian John Hathaway in this article — 2011–“He started his journey in India in December 2009, hoping to break a world record set in 1974 by Canadian John Hathaway, who traveled more than 31,068 miles through 45 countries in 23 months on his bike.’

  • Patricia
    February 4, 2012, 2:03 pm

    I’ve come to that conclusion too. If you can live without a car for daily use, then it’s much cheaper to rent one or take a taxi when you really need it. I have a bicycle, or I walk or go by bus when it’s too windy, cold and wet to cycle.

    • February 6, 2012, 4:28 pm

      So true. I wouldn’t mind getting a taxi, taking bus, or renting a car a dozen or so times a year when I’d need to/want to.

  • Lauren
    February 4, 2012, 2:05 pm

    I love the idea! However, living part of the year in St. Petersburg, FL, I can’t help but note how many bicyclers are struck and killed here. Unfortunately, it just is not safe for bicyclers, and will not be unless we invest in SAFE bicycle paths. Tampa Bay area has paths, but, they run alongside the autos on the same roads…….people are killed frequently here. And, the rest of the year, I live in New England. I haven’t seen any safe paths there, either.

    • February 6, 2012, 4:26 pm

      I agree with you Lauren.. Using your bike is mostly the best if your location is meant for it, too. Weather conditions and proximity to wherever you go daily.

  • Garth
    February 4, 2012, 4:08 pm

    What can be done on a bike is definitely not understood by casual riders (or non-cyclists), regarding distances, speeds, load-carrying capability (see http://www.bikesatwork.com/bicycle-delivery-service/furniture-moving.html for an extreme case!), etc.. I commuted to school 25 miles away 30 years ago. It took me consistently an hour and ten minutes (including stopping a half-dozen times at traffic lights) to do the 25 miles, with my panniers (bags that hook on the rack) with my clothes and books and things. I wasn’t a racer either. Those guys are faster. Cycling performance is not just for the young either. I reached my peak performance decades later at age 48. Many of the ones who do the ultralong rides (750 miles in three days for example) start that in their 50’s.

    There are forums of serious cyclists where one can educate himself about cycling. I would encourage anyone to get into it. I don’t consider it to be particularly linked to tiny houses, but I would like to own less, and even go mosly car-free, and, as mentioned above, live close to a budget car-rental place for when I do need one.

    Lauren, the area you mention is well known for being one of the most dangerous in the nation for bikes. I live in SoCal though, and although people cringe at the thought of riding in traffic, it is possible to do it safely, although it takes skill and experience, and the first 5,000 miles can be real nail-biters. I enjoy coaching new riders to ride safely in traffic.

    sesameB, the world record must be the number of countries in that period of time. Pro racers train about 500 miles a week, and the record for miles ridden in a year is about 75,000, by a man riding for a manufacturer who was trying to make a point of the durability of their shifting system IIRC.

  • Ryan
    February 4, 2012, 7:49 pm

    Lol, I just made the leap and am now carless, relying on public transportation and my bike. My second bike in a year though, was stolen just last week. Right in front of my apartment, double chained.

    • Ryan
      February 4, 2012, 7:55 pm

      …getting something stolen is always frustrating, but ditching the car has been more liberating than not. It’s amazing how much of an expense a vehicle can be. It’s a pretty big adjustment, but overall I think it’s made my world a whole lot simpler and easier to enjoy.

    • February 6, 2012, 4:30 pm

      What’s up Ryan thanks for sharing. That is frustrating.. Getting things stolen. Right now I keep my bike inside because, even though I’m in a great area, people steal bikes. Plus I like it and want it to last longer.

      But yeah. I still have a car but am on the brink of letting it go. It’s tough because it’s paid off, etc. I’ve had it since I was 18.

  • Chelsea Stack
    March 22, 2012, 1:01 am

    I absolutely love this! I ride in rain or shine, and I couldn’t be happier ;D

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