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Archive for the ‘saving money’ Category

I’ve been getting around by bicycle mostly these last few weeks and while I’m glad that I can get to most of what I need (which is really only campus and the grocery store) by bike, it has definitely changed how I plan my days.

To start with, the weather is still quite warm, and riding a bike with a heavy bag strapped to your back creates certain, ahem, hygeine issues that must be dealt with. Now it would be great if our society was OK with a little bit of sweat now and then, but it seems that we are not, especially not when it comes to being female. I’ve found two solutions to this problem. The first is to go to the gym before class; this means waking up very very early (booo) but also means much less car traffic on the roads (yaaaay). The second is to simply bring a fresh shirt with me, and to freshen up in the ladies’ room after my ride in. This saves time (yaaay) but creates an excess in laundry (booo).

I would like to get some panniers or maybe some folding baskets to attach to the sides of my bike rack, but they just aren’t in the budget right now. The bike rack works well enough for gym trips. A few bungee cords and I’m off, but I’m not about to bungee cord my back pack on there; not with my laptop in it.

Weather is also a much bigger consideration than it used to be.  I have to ask myself if I think it’s going to rain today despite what the weather man says, and if it IS going to rain, how bad will it be? Light enough to ride in? If not, can I leave campus early enough to beat it home? The same goes for daylight. While I do have lights and reflectors and I am well equipped for night riding, I still prefer not to whenever possible. This means I must budget my time carefully. Technically, I should be studying right now instead of writing this blog entry, because I’ve only got about 6 more hours of daylight before I have to leave campus. Oh well. Marx will have to wait his turn.

Biking also limits the amount of things I can buy at the grocery store, which I guess is good considering I’m on a very tight budget these days.  I have to consider the fragility of items, and their temperature sensitivity. It’s a new way of shopping for me. I’m used to buying in bulk to save money- now I have to carry it all on my back.  It doesn’t matter that I’ll save 20 cents if I buy the bigger size, If I can’t carry it, I can’t buy it.

Despite the limitations I’ve been enjoying the experience. I only wish more people would give it a try.

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