Save Money, Get In Shape, Change The World

Posted by tbaker |

“I’ve gone from a 30-minute commute to and from work to less than 15-minutes on the same route. I’ve seen my endurance and abilities … go up drastically and my weight has gone down drastically.”

By Isaiah Coleman

Age 17, Springdale

What if there was a way that we all could save money, and be healthier and happier? Well, I started off earlier this past year when I realized I needed some way to get to and from work. So, I made a change that I didn’t know could be so effective. The average American saves about $8,000/year making the same change. I am about to tell you how riding a bicycle is a lot more than a thing for kids or leisurely activity.

So, I dug out an old bicycle I had that was in “mediocre” condition and started using it to get me where I wanted to go. The trip was roughly 4-miles and took almost 30-minutes. After a while of doing this, I decided to do some research. I soon found a lot of amazing info about how common it is in other countries. In Copenhagen, Denmark, for example, roughly 52 percent of people commute on bikes daily. I thought to myself, “How can they do this so well?” It really struck me as something that would be way too difficult. Something that I could and would never do. I was wrong. Very wrong.

So eventually, I bought a used bike of a little bit better quality and it sure made some difference. As time went on and I rode more and more, I realized, there is really no reason for me to ever own a car. I found myself accomplishing just as much as a car could on my bike. From hauling groceries to riding in the rain. A good bike-trailer and/or milk-basket (to mount on a bike rack) do most of the trick for hauling groceries. And a decent rain-suit will definitely do well for you in bad weather. So then what’s stopping our society from riding bikes over cars?

A lot of people will either have medical issues and/or far places to travel. I understand that. And for some of us, living completely without a car would be impossible. But that still leaves many of us who can live with a bicycle as a means of transportation. For others, buses are also available for getting around.

My progress in this past year has been phenomenal. I’ve gone from a 30-minute commute to and from work to less than 15-minutes on the same route. I’ve seen my endurance and abilities on my bike go up drastically and my weight has gone down drastically. I was technically over-weight before I started. Please do yourself a favor and try biking. It doesn’t have to be all the time. It can be as little as just once every month. But if you want to see the community come together and people be happier, it’s gonna take every one of us. I’ve been going and plan on continuing along with many others. Every person matters in this.


Quinn November 29, 2013 at 12:33 am

You’re absolutely right. If more people made the commitment we would have better bike lanes and trails because people would demand them.

This town is so hilly that it’s difficult for many people to start out, but even if folks only rode one or two days a week, not as leisure but as transportation, it would make such a positive difference in their lives and in our community.

Thanks for the article. See you out there!

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Amanda Bancroft December 17, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Isaiah, this article was so cool I had to cut it out of the paper and save it! Know that you aren’t alone in this car-free journey: Ryan & I have lived successfully without a car in Fayetteville for over 2 years. If you ever want more support and community for sustainable lifestyles, check us out: Thanks!

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miley citrus December 18, 2013 at 5:12 pm

this was soo inspiring! where do you work? I would LOVE to possibly meet you someday and discuss our love for biking. im having a Christmas-bring-your-own-bike party on the 23rd and im soooo gonna read this article to all my guests. thanks for such the inspiration 211414

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