Busting out the Bike!

To me, warmer weather means one thing: bike season. I know a few brave souls who cycle year round, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I just save up my excitement all winter long to get back out on the road once spring has sprung.

After riding a bike that was too small for me for a whole season, last summer I did myself a favour and bought a brand new set of wheels for my birthday. It was the best kind of encouragement I could give myself, since I’m the type who wants to get their money’s worth out of everything. Between May and October I rode that bike pretty much every day. That said, a new bike is by no means the only way to get yourself on the road.

Used bikes are just as dependable as new ones, especially if they’ve been well-maintained. Free online classifieds are a great resource for used bikes, as are local used sporting goods stores. Depending on what type of bike you’re looking for, you can sometimes get one for just $100. Considering the cost of a monthly transit pass is about $80, you can save yourself about $400 if you ride a bike between April and September. If you’re a driver, consider hopping on your bike for errands in your area. You’ll save money on gas and the wear of stop-and-go city traffic on your car.

Once you’ve invested in a good helmet and lock, your costs are pretty much nil. You can learn about bike maintenance at free clinics in your neighbourhood or from any number of books available at the public library. And, when all else fails, there’s always the Internet.

So get out there, friends! Shed your coats and don your sneakers, for cycling season is here at last!

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One Response to Busting out the Bike!

  1. Sean Botti says:

    I love this article. I also like buying used whenever possible. However, I use Pat Foran’s tips on what to buy/ not buy used. The Smart, Savvy Young Consumer: How to Save and Spend Wisely – Pat Foran. It’s a great little book and has a chapter dedicated to buying new vs. used.

    He suggests not to buy used bicycles. He doesn’t really go into detail, but I can understand. I have friends who’ve had horror stories of their bikes falling apart as their riding. They tried places in Ottawa like cycle salvation. Although well intentioned, not sure it’s the best place to get a bike. I’d get a new one personally.