|My poor, punctured tyre|
It’s been a troublesome week for help my chain came off, and this time my bike chain is not to blame. Firstly, I was the victim of a puncture caused by a drawing pin (is there a cyclist terrorist out there?). Secondly, after a wonky ride home in the rain the other day, I discovered that 7 spokes had broken on my back wheel. These are bad times for me....I mean, how on earth do wheel spokes break? Is it that my immense, toned, all-over body muscle is just too much for my bicycle? Or am I just a heffalump? Whatever the reason, thank goodness that I still have my tiresome, heavy, single speed bike lurking around which meant I could resume my usual commute, if a little more tired and sad.
The hindrance of having mechanical problems with my bicycle have indeed made my purse a little lighter. It made me start to think whether the claims that cycling is cheaper than travelling by public transport in London may not be entirely valid. Let me explain. I have ‘broken down’ my bike and travel costs which I have incurred since commuting by bike for the last 3 months:
New bike chain and fit
New inner tube and fit
New wheel and fit
Tube travel when not commuting
(approx £14 per week x 12 weeks)
So that's a total of £535 in the last few months! This equates to 4.5 months worth of oyster travel card and could have saved my colleagues from witnessing my dodgy helmet hair.
Ok, ok, so I know there are many other factors to account for also. The fact that I don’t pay £50 per month on a gym membership and the fact that the more and more I cycle, the more this cost will reduce. And maybe if I was smart enough, I could probably maintain my bike myself and not have to keep traipsing into Two Wheels Good and giving them my entire pay each month (ok, maybe I’m just exaggerating now).....Oh, and also paying £110 for a helmet really isn’t entirely necessary.
BUT, one can’t deny that if you are a new cycle commuter, the first 6 months are a pay cheque squeezer and I’m done with the squeezing. It was no surprise to me when I heard the news that cycling generates £3 billion a year to the UK economy. Good news for the cycling industry, bad news for my bank account.
Peddle on kids!