It’s pretty much the end of the year, so I’ve got my final figures for my Great Edinburgh Bike Experiment. I’ve been doing posts quarterly on this, and by my last estimates in August I was up £653.77 against the fictional car. I’ve now totted up the remaining year, give or take a few days as it’s the 27th today and there are a few journeys left in December. But hey, what are a few days? Let’s tot up September, October, November and December…
Autumn and winter’s numbers
- Total journeys: 101
- Total distance: 855 miles
- Total calories: 27,719 kcal
- Total climb: 22,702 feet
Bike expenditure in last four months
As it turns out, riding the same bike almost every day over two and a half years means that things need replaced. And so it was over autumn and winter, when all the proverbial buses came at once and I had to replace both gear cables, both tyres, chain, cassette, two brake block sets, one brake cable, and the rear brake completely due to it being cheap to begin with and eventually falling off. Combine that with a service to get everything sorted and I was down £130. Ouch. That’s a big wedge out of my potential savings.
However, when cycling thousands of miles over bumpy, pockmarked Edinburgh roads you’re going to have to expect wear and tear. This is now my third chain and cassette and umpteenth brake block, so it goes with the territory.
As for bus fares, I have been spending a bit more on buses these last few months due to some rotten weather. So I am down £30 for this, too.
Total expenditure – £160
Public transport equivalent
- I substituted £142.50 worth of bus fares in September, October, November and December. It wouldn’t have been more economical for a Ridacard over these months, so let’s just go with the total.
- Public transport cost = £142.50
- Monthly car running cost – £39.16
- Petrol cost for 855 miles – £73.92. The majority of journeys I’ve been doing are in the city, so I’m going to round it up to £80 to account for congestion.
- Total running cost = £230.56
- Total cost – £122
- Public transport (£142.50) + gym (£122) – expenditure (£160) = £104.50 savings
- Car (£230.56) + gym (£122) – expenditure (£160) = £192.56 savings
2015 grand totals
Bike vs Public Transport – £633 in pocket
Bike vs Car – £846.33 in pocket
Total miles cycled – 2,454
So that’s it, folks! Over the course of the year, I have managed to save almost £850 against my fictional car. I am pretty happy with that, especially as my fictional car has been perfect and required no repairs or anything on its fictional MOT.
I think I will write a bit more about this over the next week or two. It’s been incredibly interesting to tot up my cycling and compare it against potential spends on running a car. Of course, this crude experiment has done nothing to try and understand the other amazing benefits afforded by cycling. No mention of:
- carbon savings
- societal benefits by riding a bike (bike riding offers a wealth of plus points in this sense)
- my physical health and fitness
- my mental health
- the “feelgood” factor