Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm gonna do it!

I've been procrastinating, partly because I'm a lazy bum, partly because ... well, I'm a lazy bum. Along with just about everyone else, I'm floored by the price of gas, and it's killing me. So, I've been looking at other, inexpensive, options. I'm not looking to buy a new vehicle, partly because I don't want to deal with payments, and partly because I want to see where the market goes in terms of new technology. No point in getting a flex fuel vehicle (FFV) only to see the market turn to electric. No point going electric only to see newer more efficient models three years later.

With that said, my options were as follows. 1. A motorcycle. Chicks dig motorcycles, right? Maybe, but my wife ... not so much. If I were to buy a motorcycle, I'd have to take a safety class (her request) which isn't so bad. The local community college offers one. 2. A scooter. There are some cool looking Schwinn scooters, that run around $1.2k to $3k. They seem to get great gas mileage too. One of them purportedly can get 180mpg with a 200lb load. Not bad. But do I want to waste my entire "economic stimulus check" on a scooter? 3. A set of new tires for my mountain bike.

Well, I think I'm going to go with option #3. I did this once before when I was living in Illinois, but a slow leak served to be a major pain in my rear and I stopped after about a week. I live about 8 miles from work, some of it without much shoulder but if I leave early enough, I should avoid most traffic. None of it is really major road. So, maybe this weekend I'll buy a new set of tubes for my slicks (with the green slime in it, if I develop yet another set of slow leaks), install them and start biking to work. I figure it should save me around $25 dollars a week. So the first week alone, if you figure the tubes will cost me about $8/tube, I should save approximately $9. And I might even lose some of this gut in the process.


Jim Bouman said...

Do you work up some mountain?

An 8 mile commute on streets and roads would be a lot easier for any lazy bum if he was using a skinny tire road bike.

I've had a Schwinn World Sport bike for decades, put on many, many miles in pleasure riding and commuting.

You can get a good bike for several hundred dollars new, or astonishingly cheap, used, at suburban garage sales.

But that once-faddish mountain bike is about as useful, sensible and efficient as driving a knobby-tired, high-axle, armored Hummer down the street to haul home a take-out pizza.

Tom said...

Hi Jim,

First, thanks for stopping by. And leaving a comment to boot!

As to whether I actually work up a mountain, fortunately I don't. Things are kind of flat out here in my neck of the woods. I do have a set of slicks on my mountain bike, with the knobby tires adorning a tool hook in my shed.

I've been looking at some touring bikes because I'd like to haul some gear back and forth from work, but I'll definitely take a look at the sport bikes as well. Who knew there were so many types of bikes? Not me until a few days ago. Thanks for the suggestion.