Two Wheels are Better than Four?

Recently, I mentioned to a friend of mine that another friend had purchased a bike that cost around $2,500 or so.  She was shocked by this and stated that she would never spend that much on a bike.  It seemed strange.  She was driving an almost new Acura TSX (with all of the options, no doubt), and she once stated that she didn’t want to ride a bike because she didn’t want to get killed by a crazy driver.  Ironically, she is such a driver.  On several occasions, she has failed to yield the right-of-way to cyclists and has even run right past stop lines into the middle of an intersection (once while we were “late” for a happy hour).  But, I digress?

Is $2,500 too much to pay for a bike?  Being a fairly avid cyclist, I feel that the $1,800 I paid for my bike almost 10 years ago has paid off.  I’ve probably clocked in over 10,000 miles on it and have few complaints.  And, it’s by no means once of the most expensive on the market (it’s closer to “low end”, when compared to most road models).  Regarding my incredulous friend, I wish I had thought of this at the time: She wouldn’t hesitate for one moment to spend $2,500 to repair a piece of fiberglass after a fender-bender.  She’ll easily pay many times that for insurance and other related costs.  And, the Acura isn’t doing much for her physical health.

MSN Money recently published an article, A $5,000 fender-bender, which quantifies some of the costs of standard automotive accidents.  From the article:

Bumpers are designed to absorb the energy of a low-speed collision and prevent greater vehicle damage. But the tests found that many of the vehicles would slide under the bumpers of the vehicles they struck, causing extensive damage.

In other cases, the institute found the bumpers were flimsy, weren’t large enough or did not extend out to the vehicles’ corners to protect them from damage.

Certainly, bike accidents aren’t cheap (except, in some cases, if you’re killed).  But, it’s helpful to keep in mind the true costs of cars, bikes, and other modes of transportation.

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