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Bike Commute
• Ah, the evening commute home from work! What better way to burn off the enormous amount of stress, fatigue and hunger from the long day of work than to hopelessly spin your wheels through sleeting rain, deep frozen snow or pitch black single track. No, just kidding, itís not always that bad, just every once in a while. Iím very glad to say that most commutes are surprisingly enjoyable,
The Commute
  Florida is starting to look good right now
regardless of the weather condition or hour of the day or night. Iím constantly amazed at how a lifeless, over-worked body can come to life within a few minutes of vigorous pedaling. Even commuting in the rain takes on a strange, pleasant appeal thatís difficult to describe.

Iím extremely lucky to have 80% of my commute on non-motor vehicle pavement which carries me through dense pine forests, pristine waterfront vistas and notorious rock-slinging single track. The proximity of the area lies close to typical urban communities but geography and luck would have it that my route ventures through scenery that would have you believing you were closer to the rugged wilderness than the back of a Stop & Shop parking lot.

Ok, I admit, the commute is short at only 10 miles round trip. Nothing that would break a triathlete veteran or semi-active dog walker. Then again its not short mileage either when you add it up over time coming in at just under 2000 miles a year.

So with mileage like that you canít seriously think youíre commuting for free, which everyone seems to thinks it costs. Iíve made a summary list of what I usually end up buying throughout the course of a year for the bike. I donít like to do this because once I see it I question whether itís really economical to commute or not.

Average spending budget for 1 year (2000 miles) of commuting:
$70chains x2
$60set of tires x1
$48V-brakes pads x16
$18cables (shifter/brake) x2
$36(3oz) bottles dry/wet lubricant x3
$12(16oz) can dry spray lubricant x1
$75(16oz) degreaser x6
$1251/4 lighting system
$80major repair (bottom bracket/headset/freewheel, etc) x1
$150something gore-tex will inevitably wear out
$50bike shorts
$20cheap safety glasses x2
Total: $744
Redefining the list: the majority of the list is parts, which have been bought either locally or online and always installed by myself. Most basic repairs and maintenance can be performed by an average person with some mechanical skill and experience. To have the work completed by a bicycle shop you should multiple the price by at least 3. Not covered in this list are the essentials: tools, air pump, work stand, helmet, bike w/ reasonably working components and a ďcan fix it myselfĒ attitude. This list could be deferred if you are starting with a new bike. Routine maintenance still applies but at a considerable less cost. Price of a commuter bicycle could run between $400 Ė 1500. Not exactly what you would call a free lunch.
Next - Bike History - Find out what bikes I'be been through and why they're no longer with me. Also, who would deface a perfectly good bike like this?
One ugly bike
  A face only a mother could love