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## Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Gas prices and Xtracycling

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• To determine your actual hourly rate, calculate ALL automobile costs (ownership, insurance, maintenance, gas) and remove that from your annual income (after
Message 1 of 18 , Mar 1, 2008
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To determine your "actual" hourly rate, calculate ALL automobile costs
(ownership, insurance, maintenance, gas) and remove that from your
annual income (after tax, not before tax because you pay for car
expenses with after-tax dollars). Then figure out your annual hours
worked, and ADD your annual hours commuting. With those two figures
re-calculate your "equivalent" hourly rate.

When comparing with a closer job, do the same calculation but substitute
bicycle for car. Count your time as "recreation and exercise" instead of
"commuting" and you will find the actual hourly equivalent is similar,
while affording you a better quality of life (plenty of exercise and
fresh air, longer life span).

Juergen

Sean Moore wrote:
>
> Gas prices are what interested me in the xtracycle. Small brag, I've
> even made a few trips to the grocery store with my step son's mtn bike
> now. It's really easy and I haven't been on a bike in about 20
> years. I'm leery about not having a helmet and will purchase one this
> weekend. I'm wondering at what point gas prices would make economic
> sense for me to quit my trade job (\$22/hr) and go to work for \$15/hr
> locally. Peak oil would do it, I'm sure.
>
• Good points. My car is an older model and the costs have remained relatively fixed for the past 5 years, except the fuel. I m a gearhead so an engine rebuild
Message 2 of 18 , Mar 1, 2008
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Good points.  My car is an older model and the costs have remained relatively fixed for the past 5 years, except the fuel.  I'm a gearhead so an engine rebuild may cost me \$500 and my time instead of the \$2000+ it would take for a non mechanic who doesn't have the tools.

On Sat, Mar 1, 2008 at 1:28 PM, Juergen Weichert <juergen@...> wrote:

To determine your "actual" hourly rate, calculate ALL automobile costs
(ownership, insurance, maintenance, gas) and remove that from your
annual income (after tax, not before tax because you pay for car
expenses with after-tax dollars). Then figure out your annual hours
worked, and ADD your annual hours commuting. With those two figures
re-calculate your "equivalent" hourly rate.

When comparing with a closer job, do the same calculation but substitute
bicycle for car. Count your time as "recreation and exercise" instead of
"commuting" and you will find the actual hourly equivalent is similar,
while affording you a better quality of life (plenty of exercise and
fresh air, longer life span).

Juergen

Sean Moore wrote:
>
> Gas prices are what interested me in the xtracycle. Small brag, I've
> even made a few trips to the grocery store with my step son's mtn bike
> now. It's really easy and I haven't been on a bike in about 20
> years. I'm leery about not having a helmet and will purchase one this
> weekend. I'm wondering at what point gas prices would make economic
> sense for me to quit my trade job (\$22/hr) and go to work for \$15/hr
> locally. Peak oil would do it, I'm sure.
>

--
Sean Moore
moore.sean@...
• ... Therre is a point that you might want to consider. OWNING a car, costs about \$8000 per year. on average. this is based on AAA figures from about a year
Message 3 of 18 , Mar 1, 2008
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On Sat, Mar 1, 2008 at 11:21 AM, Sean Moore <moore.sean@...> wrote:
Gas prices are what interested me in the xtracycle.  Small brag, I've even made a few trips to the grocery store with my step son's mtn bike now.  It's really easy and I haven't been on a bike in about 20 years.  I'm leery about not having a helmet and will purchase one this weekend.  I'm wondering at what point gas prices would make economic sense for me to quit my trade job (\$22/hr) and go to work for \$15/hr locally.  Peak oil would do it, I'm sure.

Therre is a point that you might want to consider.  OWNING a car, costs about \$8000 per year. on average.  this is based on AAA figures from about a year ago.   And if you drive over 10,000 miles a year the additional cost is somewhere around 50 or 60 cents a mile.  \$ 8000 per year is ABOUT \$4 per hour.  So you can take a job at \$18.00 an hour without losing ANYTHING if you ditch the car.  2000 working hours per year average (much depends on costs and such!  My last car cost me \$1!  yes ONE dollar.  But insurance is about \$500 per year!  gas is about \$5 a week  so my cost for THAT car is about \$2000 per year, or \$1 per hour

The thing to consider besides the raw cost is the health benefits and such.  I am the only guy at work who has not lost any sick time due to flu or other things.  I HAVE lost time due to a heart problem and kidney stones, but the bicycle made very little difference in either of those!  No bearing.

If you can swing it, a bike is a better vehicle all around.  But it can be difficult at times!

mark
• You know Sean, if your wife thinks you could be a bike courier then maybe it s worth thinking about. You are only as old as you make yourself - I still think
Message 4 of 18 , Mar 2, 2008
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You know Sean, if your wife thinks you could be a bike courier then
maybe it's worth thinking about. You are only as old as you make
yourself - I still think I'm 25. :) And if she believes then you've
already got a head start on the cheering section. What have you got to lose?

Strength can come with work. I've had to work at it. My sister on the
other hand was the athlete - olympic quality. But now I can whip her
butt. It makes her really mad - hopefully it will make her mad enough to
get back in shape. She's 12 years younger and shouldn't be in the shape
she's in. With the family risk of diabetes and heart disease I worry
about her. But then she's a physician - what can I say.

Anne

Sean Moore wrote:
>
> Oh yeah, I forgot to congratulate you on cutting the oil tether in
>
> 'grats! I have a dream of becoming a one car household, my wife isn't
> a strong athlete by any stretch of the imagination and I wouldn't want
> her out there with the cage drivers. Me though, I've got the chutzpa
> to pull it off... I think.
>
> I'm starting to wonder if I can find a manufacturing job that's fairly
> close, *or* maybe we could move into the city and out of these damn
> 'burbs.
>
> My wife, bless her heart, suggested that I could be a courier in
> downtown Denver. I thanked her but then admitted that I'm not nearly
> strong or young enough to consider that.
>
> On Sat, Mar 1, 2008 at 11:13 AM, Anne Littlebird <issumatuq@...
> <mailto:issumatuq@...>> wrote:
>
> Certainly the price of gas started me thinking about alternatives.
> Particularly since I'm about \$12.70/hour at this point. But I live 3
> miles from work, can walk to the grocery, post office and the coffee
> shop. Office Depot and Borders are just 2 miles away and Target, Home
> Depot about 4.
>
> One of the reasons for staying in this apartment even though it
> costs me
> one whole paycheck. But I'm also lucky in my landlord. He lets me
> have
> my pets and has even offered me wireless internet access so I can
> save
> the \$45/month that I spend on that. He's been very supportive of the
> bike and selling the car while also knowing he has a good tenant.
> That's
> another reason for being here although I'd rather find something
> smaller
> and cheaper.
>
> If I hadn't gone back to cycling - with/without the X - my salary
> would
> be toast with the increase just in food costs from the gas prices.
>
> The lady buying my car just came by to finish the deal. She is
> excited
> to have a good car and I'm just as excited not to have it anymore.
> I'm
> over the moon! Must now go celebrate! Guess it's time to replace
> my ipod
> that died several months ago...
>
> Anne
>
>
>
> Sean Moore wrote:
> >
> > Gas prices are what interested me in the xtracycle. Small brag,
> I've
> > even made a few trips to the grocery store with my step son's
> mtn bike
> > now. It's really easy and I haven't been on a bike in about 20
> > years. I'm leery about not having a helmet and will purchase one
> this
> > weekend. I'm wondering at what point gas prices would make economic
> > sense for me to quit my trade job (\$22/hr) and go to work for
> \$15/hr
> > locally. Peak oil would do it, I'm sure.
> >
> > On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 9:28 PM, Morgan
> <mcgurme@... <mailto:mcgurme%40alifelikewater.org>
> > <mailto:mcgurme@...
> <mailto:mcgurme%40alifelikewater.org>>> wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> > The original pedaling health report is here:
> > http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/PED_BIKE/docs/cyhealth.pdf
> <http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/PED_BIKE/docs/cyhealth.pdf>
> > <http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/PED_BIKE/docs/cyhealth.pdf
> <http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/PED_BIKE/docs/cyhealth.pdf>>
> >
> > A more concise distillation is provided by Ken Kifer, here:
> > http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/pedal_h.htm
> <http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/pedal_h.htm>
> > <http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/pedal_h.htm
> <http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/pedal_h.htm>>
> >
> > And, Ken Kifer has many other great pages on this, such as the
> > tome "Is cycling
> > dangerous" where he studies both bike accident rates and deaths
> > due to being sedentary,
> > here: http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm
> <http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm>
> > <http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm
> <http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm>>
> >
> > I've visited Boston and cycled around on several occasions. In my
> > experience, it was like
> > any other big city, i.e. if one is predictable and defensive in
> > biking, it's not too bad. I
> > actually feel more comfortable biking in a city like Boston (or
> > London, or NYC) than on the
> > country highways here. An interesting tidbit: the biggest class of
> > fatal injury to
> > experienced cyclists who are not doing one of the things that
> > cause preventable accidents
> > (like biking on sidewalks and running lights), are being hit by
> > inattentive drivers on rural
> > highways.
> >
> > I think one big reason so many consider biking unsafe is because
> > so many people bike
> > unsafely. They don't have to get any training or driver's license.
> > A few weeks ago, I saw
> > this young woman on a mountain bike weaving around people, parking
> > meters, and trees
> > down a busy sidewalk. From there she proceeded straight out across
> > a busy 5-way
> > intersection (without waiting for the light) and had a close call
> > with a car. Amazingly, even
> > accounting for the much higher accident rates that people such as
> > her have, the statistics
> > show biking as relatively safe per mile travelled. Just imagine
> > what the numbers would be
> > if people like her actually learned how to bike safely?
> >
> > Morgan
> >
> >
> >
> > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
> <mailto:rootsradicals%40yahoogroups.com>>, David Chase
>
> > <dr2chase@...> wrote:
> > >
> > > On 2008-02-24, at 3:30 PM, Morgan wrote:
> > > > Anyway, there's always the "safety" thing people bring up too.
> > > > Recently, I've taken to
> > > > throwing out the results of the "Pedalling Health" report, that
> > > > clearly show that bicycling
> > > > increases lifespan/reduces death rates, by lowering the
> > prevalence
> > > > of the biggest killer:
> > > > heart attacks. This works to get some people thinking about
> > biking,
> > > > anyway.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Do you have a pointer to that report? I'd like to have a better
> > > reference than "I heard that" or "Mayer Hillman said that".
> The way
> > > I phrase it is, "that big steel cage doesn't protect you from
> heart
> > > attacks, and guess what's more likely to kill you."
> > >
> > > The safety issue is a biggie. Here near Boston, I was talking to a
> > > guy (a framebuilder, even) at a nearby bike store, who himself
> > > commutes to work by bike, and has all his life. After thinking
> > > the traffic here (and this is a place where the traffic sucks so
> > > badly that we want out oldest son to learn to drive a car in
> > Florida,
> > > not here), he said he decided not to hassle his kids about not
> > riding
> > > their bikes so much. There seems to be some sort of bias against
> > > enforcing the traffic laws here -- speeding, ok, passing on the
> > right
> > > in a (wide) two-lane road in a business area, ok, crossing the
> > double-
> > > yellow, ok, rolling through stop, ok, running the
> no-longer-yellow,
> > > ok. Basically, people in cars, drive about as badly as people
> do on
> > > bikes -- 1 ton, 200 horsepower, bikes.
> > >
> > > How bad is it? When my previous car got very old, and we had a
> > > replacement (purchased from my in-laws) lined up, I decided to get
> > > serious about pedestrians and crosswalks. Toe in the crosswalk, I
> > > stop. I got rear-ended twice. There's a crosswalk between here and
> > > the elementary school, the police won't give us a crossing guard,
> > > because it's "too dangerous" for the policeman. I've poured coffee
> > > on non-stopping cars, another dad has egged them.
> > >
> > > Bizarrely, my bicycle commute is relatively sane. I am not sure
> > > why. The only problem I usually get is people cutting me off when
> > > they do a right turn at a shopping mall (which happens enough
> > that is
> > > just part of the hazard list, like the misaligned storm grates, or
> > > the rumpled pavement, or the 2-into-1 uphill lane merge).
> > >
> > > David
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Sean Moore
> > moore.sean@... <mailto:moore.sean%40gmail.com>
> <mailto:moore.sean@... <mailto:moore.sean%40gmail.com>>
> >
>
>
>
>
> --
> Sean Moore
> moore.sean@... <mailto:moore.sean@...>
>
• ... 20 pounds and some coronary blockage, I suppose ;) Maybe I ll look into it. Of course it wouldn t be too much fun today... 3in of snow outside after
Message 5 of 18 , Mar 2, 2008
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On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 11:09 AM, Anne Littlebird <issumatuq@...> wrote:

What have you got to lose?

20 pounds and some coronary blockage, I suppose ;)  Maybe I'll look into it.  Of course it wouldn't be too much fun today... 3in of snow outside after yesterday was 74F in my back yard.  I've never minded being wet though.

--
Sean Moore
moore.sean@...
• Sean, After working as a professional messenger for several years in NY, I suggest not getting into the industry now. These days the internet has allowed much
Message 6 of 18 , Mar 2, 2008
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Sean,

After working as a professional messenger for several years in NY, I suggest not getting into the industry now. These days the internet has allowed much of the “packages” pointless. Much of what was and might still be carried by messenger can now or will soon be sent on-line…. All those artist/model portfolios, floor-plans, legal documents, film/video reels, etc… basically anything media/text content can be sent over the internet. Cycling might be faster than any other vehicle in a major city and clients might like the idea of using a “green” method of transport… but the immediacy and cost effectiveness of the internet blows that all away.

That was one of the big reasons why I bought an Xtracycle. I could see the industry changing and strategically I figured with gas prices on the rise a cargo bike would make the most logistical sense. I could execute higher paying “car” jobs, but not have all the overhead of fuel, insurance, parking, and tickets. Still, with all of those positive reasons for being a cargo bike courier it was hard. I may have been one of the top paid messengers in my company (and possibly in NYC), but it was still pretty harsh and I was not getting any younger. In almost all courier scenarios the rider on the street has no insurance/medical coverage. Your health may be good from riding all day, but if you get in an accident you might get seriously screwed. On top of the lack of insurance/medical coverage almost all messengers work on a commission basis, so if you are out of work for any span of time you miss out on that money. Even if you return to work you might not recover to the same level of work you were doing before, which will result in less income.

I do not know of any couriers in this country, who have any decent retirement plan. Most messengers I knew practically lived from one pay check to the next, so saving money was almost unheard of. Forget about retirement, and if you have any kids, you might as well get a second job.

I apologize if I am knocking the courier industry. I obviously loved messengering since I did do it for the better part of ten years and almost all my friends still are or have been couriers, but it definitely is not a job for everyone. As it is, I moved from NYC to Pennsylvania and got into a completely different industry. I still bike to work every day, but that just seems logically the correct thing to do despite some of my coworkers joking with me about it. I guess I am just trying to put things in a possibly different perspective for you if you were really considering the messenger line of work. I hope it helps.

_TONE_

• Thanks, Tone. That s exactly what I read on some websites today. ... -- Sean Moore moore.sean@gmail.com Thanks, Tone. That s exactly what I read on some
Message 7 of 18 , Mar 2, 2008
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Thanks, Tone.  That's exactly what I read on some websites today.

On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 5:04 PM, Tone <Tone@...> wrote:

Sean,

After working as a professional messenger for several years in NY, I suggest not getting into the industry now. These days the internet has allowed much of the "packages" pointless. Much of what was and might still be carried by messenger can now or will soon be sent on-line…. All those artist/model portfolios, floor-plans, legal documents, film/video reels, etc… basically anything media/text content can be sent over the internet. Cycling might be faster than any other vehicle in a major city and clients might like the idea of using a "green" method of transport… but the immediacy and cost effectiveness of the internet blows that all away.

That was one of the big reasons why I bought an Xtracycle. I could see the industry changing and strategically I figured with gas prices on the rise a cargo bike would make the most logistical sense. I could execute higher paying "car" jobs, but not have all the overhead of fuel, insurance, parking, and tickets. Still, with all of those positive reasons for being a cargo bike courier it was hard. I may have been one of the top paid messengers in my company (and possibly in NYC), but it was still pretty harsh and I was not getting any younger. In almost all courier scenarios the rider on the street has no insurance/medical coverage. Your health may be good from riding all day, but if you get in an accident you might get seriously screwed. On top of the lack of insurance/medical coverage almost all messengers work on a commission basis, so if you are out of work for any span of time you miss out on that money. Even if you return to work you might not recover to the same level of work you were doing before, which will result in less income.

I do not know of any couriers in this country, who have any decent retirement plan. Most messengers I knew practically lived from one pay check to the next, so saving money was almost unheard of. Forget about retirement, and if you have any kids, you might as well get a second job.

I apologize if I am knocking the courier industry. I obviously loved messengering since I did do it for the better part of ten years and almost all my friends still are or have been couriers, but it definitely is not a job for everyone. As it is, I moved from NYC to Pennsylvania and got into a completely different industry. I still bike to work every day, but that just seems logically the correct thing to do despite some of my coworkers joking with me about it. I guess I am just trying to put things in a possibly different perspective for you if you were really considering the messenger line of work. I hope it helps.

_TONE_

--
Sean Moore
moore.sean@...
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