Leave the Car Home, Ride a Bike

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If you know me at all, I have a frugal gene. I don’t know where I got it but spending money on things has always kind of given me a knot in my stomach. I’m always trying to find new ways to spend less but at the same time live a nice, comfortable life.

In my pursuit, I came across the blog Mr. Money Mustache. The blog is written by a thirtysomething retiree who writes about how we can all live frugally but maintain a leisurely lifestyle.

He achieved this not through luck or amazing skill, but simply by living a lifestyle about 50% less expensive than most of his peers and investing the surplus in very boring conservative stocks while maintaining two rental homes.

I’ve been browsing through the archive and came across two posts, “Get Rich With…Bikes” and “What Do You Mean You Don’t Have a Bike?!” Both articles pretty much boil down to: leave the car in your garage and ride a bike. This not only makes you more physically active and healthy but can save you a ton of money by not spending money on gas and cutting back on the wear and tear.

So instead of driving down the street to see a neighbor or pick up an item down the street, get on your bike! I never really thought about doing it before. It seems simple but actually following through is a whole different thing. No doubt it’s so much easier and convenient to hop in your car and go from point A to point B. If you think about it though, it’s a better idea to just jump on the bike and get the job done.

I came up with a lot of excuses of why I haven’t done this. I don’t have a nice bike, it’s too small for me, it’s not “bike weather” and I don’t live in a bike-friendly area. Instead of coming up with excuses, I decided to think of how I could practically accomplish getting where I needed to go on my bike.

While the roads aren’t exactly bike-friendly, we do have a nice bike path and it practically takes you near important parts of the city. This morning I decided to go get a haircut. My local barber is 3.5 miles away. I mapped out the best route which had me cross just one busy street.

It was cold so I bundled up by wearing several layers and a jacket and of course wore my helmet. I got there safe and sound but one thing I didn’t think about is that wearing several layers and biking, I would get a little warm. Embarrassingly, when I got to the barber I was sweating a little. Lesson learned. Other than that and the bike being a little too small for me, the ride was a great idea. I was able to get exercise, save gas and roughly seven miles of unneeded driving.

It is definitely something that I will be doing more of once I get a better fitting bike. It just makes so much sense to do. Riding bikes will also be a fun thing to do with the family. So the More Than Kale family have officially become a bike family. Now I just have to let Jenny know!

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Mike Podesta

Husband and a new dad. Doing my best to lead a healthy lifestyle one day at a time.

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