When you go past your local gas station ready to fill your tank, your heart may sink as you latest the notice price increase. As this has become far more common than drops in prices in recent months, it is hard not to look for a way to cut down on fuel costs. Public transportation, buying more fuel-efficient cars and finding alternative energy sources are all valid ways, but why not switch to the use of a human powered vehicle for trips that may only be a few miles.
Human powered vehicles may conjure up images of MIT nerds engaging in an unrealistic competition, but there is one you may not even think of which you probably have in your garage. It’s not exactly a new invention either so with the exception of certain races you may not give it much thought unless you’re an enthusiast of the sport its used in. At this point you may want me to simply tell you what I mean. Well, would it help if I said before they got there start in aeronautics, Orville and Wilbur Wright earned their living by repairing them? I refer to the bicycle.
While you can easily spend over $2000 dollars on a bike meant to race or go over mountainous terrain, you do not need to make such an extravagant purchase. Wal-Mart offers many styles of bikes suitable road travel for under $100. If you do not want to purchase a new one, why not take a look around at yard sales to see if a used one is available? If what you seek cannot be found at yard sales, why not try the classified section of your local paper?
Purchasing a used bike may not be as complicated as purchasing a used car, but the famous Caveat Emptor warning applies. Quality can vary greatly. Make sure the rims are in good condition and the brakes work. My recent yard sale find of a single speed for $5 had problems with the crank that cost me an additional $20 to repair. If I did not like the older single and 3 speed style of bike, I probably would have written its purchase off as a yard sale loss.
Safety equipment such as helmets are not required by law in the state of Pennsylvania for riders who are over the age of 12. The laws may differ where you live. Check with the equivalent of PennDOT in your state to find out what you legally need to ride. If you have not ridden a bicycle in awhile and afraid you have forgotten, I can testify that the old adage about never forgetting how is true. The body remembers the motions necessary even when your mind forgets.
So why not go to your garage or backyard and pull out an old and neglected friend? You may even find that the increased physical activity not only keeps your wallet from losing too much weight, some extra pounds on you may disappear as an added bonus. If you really get into it, many areas have cycling clubs that you can join which sponsor outdoor trips.