Tuesday, September 20, 2005

it finally happened


That's how much gas cost me this morning on my way into work. That was to fill up my tank with the lowest grade stuff. I've been watching it dance nearer and nearer the $40 barrier for weeks now. But, today, it finally tumbled over the line and into the $40s.

I've been telling myself "As soon as it crosses over to $40 a fill-up, I'm taking the train."

So, I guess it's time to start taking the train. I'll try and figure out the schedules and whatnot today and then start taking it this Thursday.

Here's hoping that sooner or later enough people stop driving to kick in the laws of supply and demand.


EmoRiot said...

For those that read this blog, I can report a shocking development.

$42.30: Today's fill-up price is my new monthly budget for gas. Yes, MONTHLY.

Last month I spent $160 dollars on gas and I vowed to reduce that. I live in Burbank, CA and I started walking into downtown for shopping, movies, and the gym. Previously, those were all drives.

In my new plan, if I needed to go to the office supply store, I walked. If I needed to go to the grocery store for a small run, I walked. After two weeks of this new plan I had only used 3/4 a tank of gas and that was nearly entirely from a trip to Pasadena and a trip to Santa Monica during rush hour.

For the next two weeks, I took my dirty neglected bike to the shop for repair. Aired the tires and put a new 6 dollar handlebar stem on it to make it more comfortable to ride. Now when I need to go to the gym, I ride. Office supply, ride. Grocery store for larger needs, ride.

For comparison's sake, my partner Lisa and I were headed to the post office, gym, grocery store, and natural vitamin store. These locations were scattered all over the Burbank area encompassing multiple miles of driving. We did an experiment. She drove and I rode. The end result was that we tied. First to the post-office, I beat her by a mile. She had to get the car out of the garage while I could take off down the road. But then, EVERY OTHER location we were tied. She had red lights and I had red lights. She never got ahead of me. One trip that was 2 miles away, we parted ways with me choosing another route to avoid a busy road... still we pulled into the parking lot at the exact same time. The bike never lost to the car.

So coming up on our month anniversary of using the bike for the local stuff, our household gas bill has gone down from 160 dollars in August to 6/4ths a tank of gas (1 & 1/2 tanks) or just under 45 bucks.

Add to that how much better I feel biking around. I've got leg muscles again and I spent the savings from less gas on two new pairs of smaller pants! :-)

rooni said...

Nice job, Ry! =)

If only it were realistic to ride a bike from San Mateo to San Francisco (currently a 30 minute drive in no traffic)! Or from San Mateo to Mountain View, in my case - a 20 minute drive in no traffic. Instead, the train will have to do.

And it won't be quite as much savings as you report in your case, because the train alone will be $100/mo for me, and $50/mo for Jess.. plus the parking permit at the train station ($15/mo) and his BART passes (I don't know the price, but it's a few dollars every day) ... and the small amount of gas just to get to the train station every day, for just one car (there's no bus stop near our house).

Still worth experimenting.

EmoRiot said...

I wonder if the trip to the train station is bikeable? Still, the train for you guys offers yet another savings... life energy and time. Jess will have an hour a day to sit and write, think, listen to music, work on music of his own via laptop, read the news, etc. What a gift that is gained by not having to dodge diving hawks! - not to mention other less-than-awesome drivers.

Bug said...

the trip to the train station is sorta' bikeable. At the moment, as out of shape as I am, it's not. Only because we're at the top of a very long and winding road (Dah-Daaaah) that leads (::french horn::) to the Train Station (::horn:: ::horn:: ::horn:: ::hooooorn::).

I could bike there but never get home at the end of the day.

EmoRiot said...

You need NetBikx. Everyday a new bike shows up in your mailbox which you can use to bike down hill to the train station. When you get there you drop that bike back in the mail and the next day you got a fresh bike for the downhill coast to the station.

Then all you have to do is talk to City Council about installing the ski-resort style chairlift system for you to get home. (note to self: prepare chairlift legislation)

phobucket said...

Congrats to both of you on your efforts. Unfortunately, public transportation or biking walking is currently not an option for me due to the hunnert pounds of gear I haul everywhere and poor public transportation system in Dallas.

If I moved, or changed jobs it might be feasible to bike, but the weather would have to cool off first.