In my last post I mentioned that our kids are learning to ride the bikes they got for Christmas. So far we’ve been out 3 times over the last 10 days and they are doing very well. Sarah is basically done, she knows how to start without our help, she is making turns, and even using the breaks! She’s also gotten very fast which can be a little scary. Samuel almost has the same things down and it should only be a little longer before he gets the rest. This has made my wife and I consider getting bikes of our own just so we can keep up with them!

I remember as a kid we used to ride our bikes a lot; my sister and I would gather up some cans and ride down to the local grocery store and get a scoop of ice cream from recycling the cans. I used to ride my bike to school in middle school and it was great most of the time (the time I had a flat tire and had to walk almost all the way home in the rain wasn’t one of the better memories). I used to carry my trumpet and then my trombone on the back of my bike on a little rack that I had. It was so awkward to carry!

As I think about my life now I wonder how feasible it would be to ride a bike more often, say to work. Right now I work about 8 miles from home. Now I have no idea how fast I could ride, but a quick Google search showed that the average speed of a bike is between 13-20mph. Let’s just go on the low-end to be safe and say 10 mph. Given that it would take me a little less than an hour to get to work and then another hour to get home. Really, that’s not too bad but it also has other benefits such as the exercise. I’ve tried riding a bike in the gym before and I can say that it is a workout! If I did that it would probably help me lose a good amount of weight and help me reach my goal. The other benefit that comes to mind is the money savings in gas.

Right now go through a tank of gas in about 10-11 days depending on if I have other driving needs beyond the norm. I get about 20 mpg out of my car and gas is about $2.53 at the moment in our area. If my math is correct that means it’s about $0.13 a gallon, so riding a bike would mean I’d save $2.08 on a round trip. What about the time though, is my time worth the money savings? Right now it takes me about 10-15 minutes to get to work while riding a bike would be about an hour. That’s an hour of time I wouldn’t get to spend with my family in the evening and an hour in the afternoon because I wouldn’t get home until later which means sleeping later. Getting home later in the morning wouldn’t be too big of an issue because starting next year the kids will be in school until later in the afternoon anyway. The big issue is the time in the evening. So does saving money (which would mean less financial stress on the family), and most likely losing weight make up for the lost hour with the family? That’s a tough question and one I would have to sit down with Hannah and discuss.

Of course that only applies to riding to work, what about church, or the store? As the kids get better at riding it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities that can really bring us together as a family and help out in other areas as well. Food for thought the next time you climb into your car or the kids ask to go out and play.