Thursday, May 10, 2012

Riding bike to work saves money but takes planning

By Michael Turnbell and Dana Williams, Sun Sentinel   April 16, 2012
It is part of a cycle: As gas prices rise, so do the number of folks who pedal to their jobs.
Census data show the number and percentage of people commuting to work by bicycle has increased in South Florida in the past few years, with more than 13,600 in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties riding to their jobs in 2010. Gas prices were about $3 a gallon then; today, they average close to $4 a gallon. Still, less than 1 percent of all commuters trade horsepower for pedal power.
Bicycling to work takes planning and also might require taking a bus or a train if the commute is long. But it can result in big savings. A person who bikes five miles to work three days a week could save $311 a year in fuel costs alone. To calculate how much you can save, go to  If the idea appeals to you, here are tips on how to do it.
Planning your route
First, determine your goal. Are you looking at the fastest route, or one with the least interaction with traffic? Most cyclists either make their own maps, use GPS-type devices or go to
Both Broward and Palm Beach counties have interactive route planners that rank streets by riding suitability, based on the amount of interaction with traffic. You see if your route includes a marked bike lane, a wide shoulder or a separate path away from traffic.
In Broward: go to