Afford your Life: Family Bike rides

In the interest of saving a bit of money and increasing our happiness and health, we got a really cool bike recently for family bike rides and running errands: the Surly Big Dummy. Peter and I have been cyclists for many years, but having a little one makes things a bit complicated. Our solution: get a cargo bike plus a Yepp child seat (and helmets for all.)  Hazel loves it!  

Of course, as a momma, I'm concerned about safety.  It's horrible to think about putting your baby in potential danger, but I'm trying to relax about it a bit since the statistics are in our favor.  The basic idea is that speed kills - we can't go faster than about 12 miles per hour, and we stick to bike lanes and trail paths most of the time. Of course defensive riding is the name of the game, and if I had it my way, we'd stop at every intersection green light or not, but you have to live a little :)

So how does this relate to saving some money (it's a hefty charge up front: $2000 for the bike and $200 for the child seat)?  Here's a challenge: try biking or walking to anything under a mile away from your house to start with.  You'll limit your gas usage, limit wear and tear on your car, limit your chance of an accident (most accidents happen very close to home!), and you'll get some exercise (how about quitting the gym too?  You'll save $20-80 per month right there.) 

When you're ready, you can try trips like some of our recent ones: Target (4.9 miles), the beach (3 miles), and THE MALL! (2.4 miles) The pannier bags on the sides hold a week's worth of groceries.  They have a waterproof hood option too, just in case it rains.  I don't mind getting wet since I'm usually working up a bit of a sweat anyway :)