Bicycling Against Debt

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Bicycling after the age of 35 is usually reserved for rich weekend warriors or broke people with DUIs. I feel more like the latter, but thanks to my stupid bicycle, I’ve probably saved at least a thousand dollars in transportation cost over the last 8 months.

I’ve never been a fan of bicycles. You have to share the road with vehicles that can kill you, an army of deviants are out there plotting how to steal them, and riding them in normal clothes is somewhat uncomfortable. Unless you dress like a toddler, then it’s probably pretty chill.

My current ride, a Diamondback Hannjo, was about $300. It has disc brakes, but other than that, not much else to recommend it. It’s one of those commuter-centric bicycles with flat bars and relaxed geometry. The tires are sort of burly, a nod to mountain biking, I guess. Like all machines that promise to be good at everything, it’s not really great at anything. It’s heavy, uncomfortable, and the chain keeps coming off when I hit potholes. I guess I could just ride around the potholes, but I live in West Oakland where there’s more hole than street, so there’s not much to be done.

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Despite all these issues, I ride to work four days a week, for a total of four miles each day. This is probably great for my health, but it always makes me feel like a total loser. In my mind, I deserve a jacked up vintage truck or a ridiculously fast motorcycle. I’ve never had the cool truck, but I’ve had plenty of fast bikes and they are the best thing ever invented.

My last bike, a 2008 KTM Superduke, was hands down the best motorcycle I ever owned, even with pieces of it falling off on the Bay Bridge a few times. It looked cool, handled great, was super fast, and made me smile each time I rode it. Then it got stolen from the parking lot at work.

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This is exactly what I want to be driving. Mrs. Lott does not approve.

I had just paid the damn thing off and was looking forward to payment free riding for the foreseeable future. Around this time I was just getting into my financial guru, Dave Ramsey. I was in debt, just like most people, but unlike most people I hated it and was willing to make a sacrifice to get out.

When I got my check from the insurance company I took it and a little money I had saved up from the sale of a URL and knocked out all my debt. It’s been about two years now and I haven’t used a damn credit card once. I miss my bike, but I really don’t miss the payments.

Part of the Dave Ramsey plan is to not have vehicle payments. I can’t say I haven’t been tempted to get myself something with more horsepower than I have IQ, but for now I’ll wait.

 

 

 

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