Sunday, January 8, 2012

Keep calm and pedal on

Since making the decision to spend more money on a bicycle than we spent on our last gas sucking vehicle I've been seesawing back and forth between emotions of "Oh my god what have I done" and "wow, I'm REALLY doing this?".  It's never easy to spend large amounts of money, for us the cost is already being felt and the bike hasn't even been wheeled out of the store yet.  We will be making sacrifices for the next few months and will no doubt wonder at some point if we've made a mistake (possibly during a weak spot of latte lust).  The pressure to follow through and make sure I stick with my 12 month commitment is really consuming,  if I fail not only will I have let myself down in a very public manner but worse I will have let my husband and son down, they too being invested financially and emotionally right along with me. The expense of this is endeavor is feeling really heavy right now and at times like this I just have to remind myself of the real costs at stake.

  • A years worth of gasoline is far more expensive on the pocketbook and the environment than 10 very reasonably priced, well built cargo bikes (the environmental health of our planet and welfare of it's inhabitants being priceless in my opinion).  Sure you don't need to buy a brand new cargo bike, a $200 Craigslist trailer/bike combo could work just as well for some people (used cargo bikes are very hard to find).  And while I could have gone the trailer/bike route, for me ease of use and a sense of security are of utmost importance.  I've seen the front bumper of a car up close and personal while lying in a street and since then I've had a real fear of cycling with cars. For me to be convinced that my little boy is safe I need him to be close to me and the line of vision of the average motorist.
  • Making exercise a lifestyle rather than an appointment in a day-planner is invaluable, especially if you find yourself responsible for a little human who relies on you to make the best possible decisions regarding their future.  As someone who has dealt with weight issues for most of her life I can assure you this "weighs" heavily on me. Pun intended.
  • Healthier people spend less on all sorts of things from health insurance to medical/dental bills and even clothing! In fact the only time that I can think of where healthier people might spend more than unhealthy people is in the cost of their extended years of life.  

I don't know how to put a price tag on my health.  I don't know how much money I'd be willing to spend to ensure my son's appreciation for exercise, nor how much I'd throw down to ensure he had a beautiful planet to enjoy.  I do know that I'd pay a hell of a lot more than the cost my new bike.