Apart from saving the planet (with reduced Co2 emissions) it would be nice to think that Cycling to work would actually be cheaper than driving.
However my recent Cycle Tyre Puncture experience combined with the high cost of living in Switzerland again makes me go Hmmmmm.
Last week after a rather full day of work I arrived at the Bike sheds at about 20.00 only to find my rear tyre fully deflated. To make a long story short after numerous reinflation stops, careful cycling home (avoid all bumps), I made it back to the Cave at home to change the tube (and Tyre). So what are the costs involved and lessons learnt?
- If it is going to rain, i.e. if WeatherPro even shows a sniff or rain then I should run or drive to work. Race bike, slick tyres, no mudguards vs rain. Rain wins.
- The weight cost of carrying Co2 cartridges an inflator, and tyre levers is a necessary evil.
- The cost of the Co2 cartridges. Since they can't be mail ordered from the UK (explosive risk apparently) I pay 5CHF (3GBP) Swiss prices per cartridge
- Continental Supersonic Inner tube - 45 grams - 9GBP
- Continental Supersonic Race Tyre - 140 grams - 30GBP
Okay, it is a total extravagance to use these quality tyres for commuting, but they do provide the ultimate lightweight experience.
So the total cost, excluding the hassle factor, time lost from working or relaxing, is about 45 GBP ( 75 USD, 60 CHF). The cost if I tried to buy all these items locally in Switzerland would be over 120 CHF.
The quality of Swiss roads is such that if you cycle in the dry, on clean tarmac roads only you can get away with this lightweight tyre and tube combination. But on a rainy road you can't always see any stones or glass that are lurking and punctures become a reality.