Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bicycling as a "second job" pays $20 per hour

Riding a bicycle in the Houston area gets you point-to-point at about a 12 MPH average speed. Driving a car point-to-point in the Houston area, very roughly, doubles the bicycle average speed to about 25 MPH. Case in point: from my northwest suburban home to the Houston Galleria business district, about 25 miles, it could take an hour on average to drive. Worse at peak times, better at slack times, but an hour is a typical average that I use for time budgeting.

The cost of driving is 60 cents per mile (according to the IRS). The cost of bicycling is about 1/10 of that, or $0.06 per mile (could be less, but these are my costs).

If I bike ride 25 miles, it will take me two hours. If I drive, it will take me one hour. But I'll save $13.50 in the process, so riding a bike "pays" me $13.50 tax-free for that extra hour spent. I would have to earn about $20 per hour before Federal income taxes and SocSec/Medicare deductions to get back $13.50 after-tax. Everything depends on my particular tax bracket, of course.

I like the thought that I get paid $20 per hour to improve my health, and see the outdoors and wildlife.


The Wolf said...

Makes sense, I can think of a lot things I can do with an extra 20 bucks like... buy me a couple of half n halfs at the pub!

Sirrus Rider said...

Oddly enough, My commute from I-10 Gessner to Texas Southern University takes only 20 minutes more than driving the same distance (1hr). The only negative and what makes it hard to do is I have to be up at 4am to be on the road by 5am in order to avoid a significant amount of traffic. Oh I also miss riding in sunlight.

Fredric Love said...

Hi. I'm interested in how you came up with 6 cents a mile for commuting costs. Would you share?