Commutes On the Cycle and I saved 26k INR in 11 months
I have been cycling for commutes on and off since 2015. Back in November 2018, I joined my college, Symbiosis Institute of Digital and Telecom Management as an adjunct faculty and started cycling to college on my single speed bike. In January 2019, I decided to invest in a 6-speed basic bike to start my cycle to work more seriously. You can read the story here.
Since the Beginning of February 2019, I started making Strava logs of savings in diesel whenever I used my cycle for my commutes. Here is a small story on how things progressed and you would be surprised by the savings I made in terms of just diesel.
Cycle to Work Story
I work as an adjunct faculty, which means that I work for certain hours with Symbiosis. Which directly means I do not travel to college every day. I end up working 10 days a month or a few days give and take. My college is roughly 23.5 kms one way with a lovely 1.5 km hill climb in the end at 8% incline. The route is lovely and the campus is lush green. Riding to college every morning is refreshing. The route does throw up a few traffic blocks along the way which means that I just have to deviate a little from the main road and ride to reach on time.
Usually, a drive takes around an hour to reach and around 1.5 hours to head back home. Cycling is 1.15 to go and 1.10 to come back without fail. I do end up driving down to college depending on various things, which means that I did not cycle to college every single day. There were many days of driving to work involved.
Rains Were Even More Fun
The monsoons this time in Pune were cruel and ended up raining for 5-6 months. I decided to cycle more during this time. The reason being that the traffic during the rains is even more erratic. Raining during the rains is fun and specifically with changeovers at work, I had no problem.
I would be the talk of the college faculty block when they would look at me expectantly and ask if I had driven to college and they would be shocked when I would respond in the negative.
I think I was really happy and content with the cycling to college bit during the rains.
Ph.D. Admissions and the lag
In September 2019, I managed to secure admissions into the Ph.D. program at Symbiosis and with that started another chapter in my life. For the next three months, I had to attend course work which meant erratic timings and the rains did not help much. Trying to manage everything, I hardly managed to cycle to college for 4 days out of the 30. I would spend close to three hours a day driving and getting stuck in traffic.
Cycling for my Basic Commutes
Other than my college, cycle to work commutes, I would also cycle for my meetings or other work. In April, my mother underwent knee replacement and she was admitted in the hospital. The 12 km drive used to take 1-2 hours. I decided to cycle to the hospital. I would get the stares from the security guys at the hospital, but then they got used to me and I had a pre-decided place to park my cycle.
At the start of the month of May, I decided to upgrade my bike to something that would be better. I upgraded to another hybrid and spent close to 20k on the new one. This one had 24 gears, a marked improvement from the earlier 6. Came with an alloy frame over the steel one I was riding.
Even with all the days off, I see that my Strava log shows that I managed to save 389 L of diesel in the last 11 months in the year 2019 with my cycle commutes. My little birdie tells me that the cost of diesel fluctuated between 67-69 last year, taking 68 rupees/L it’s a cool 26,452 rupees savings.
How did I arrive at this figure? Well, I manage close to 13-15kmpl in my car. Each day I would travel 50 kms, so I would reverse calculate and log my diesel savings. Now, the figure above does not take into account the cost of car washing and servicing etc and also the cost to park a car in the city. So I would ideally have saved another 5,000. So roughly a saving of 31,000 in the last year which takes into account the cost of both my bikes and their servicing. From now on, this would be my saving a year. Even if I deduct my cost of spares and bike servicing, I would still save enough for a probable mini vacation every year.
So that is my cost saving over the distance of 6000 odd kms in 2019. I have also saved on my health and the environment a bit. How much have you been able to save?