My desire to bike to work has virtually nothing to do with saving money, or saving the planet. While those are laudable goals, they are not mine. I’m mostly interested in not dying prematurely. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes this rationale for bicycling seems terribly ironic (see “Dear Idiot” below).

However, as the price of gasoline begins creeping skyward again, keeping the petroleum industry’s profits nice and fat for another year, I began to wonder if my commuting by bicycle would have any practical impact.

The last time I gassed up the Corolla, I spent $29.51 for 10.5 gallons of gas. I generally go about 280 miles between fill-ups. Let’s call that 10.5 cents per mile. My commute is a little less than ten miles, each way. Let’s call it 19 miles round trip. That works out to about $2.00 a day in gas I save when I ride my bike.

Wow, that’s … more than I expected. Mind you, I don’t think of it as ’saving’ money, more like deferring payment. I will still drive to work, and I will still have to fill up my car, but every day I ride my bike pushes that trip to the gas station off by two bucks.