Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dollars and Caffeine

You get the 'miles per gallon' question with a certain amount of regularity when people ask about the benefit of riding a scooter. I prefer the 'actual dollars spent' variable, for a few reasons. You can quote the 60-70 mpg number, and it earns a lot of thumbs up, but quote dollars spent and it drops jaws. Why? Well, we all have a decent idea what the mpg number for our car is, but we remember the $90 or $120 fill-up far better. Yeah, I know the cost of gasoline is volatile, but dollars spent is a more tangible reality. I drive far more on two wheels than I did on four. It costs less. I can tell you that my 600 mile/month commute to work was costing $200-$250/month. Since taking delivery of the scooter August 13, I've put over 1,400 miles on her for a grand total of $89.66. Well over double the miles for well under half the cost.

And that's not all...

Commuting with coffee is a pretty easy habit to fall into. Not that I still don't have a coffee habit, but I don't have the $3 or $4/day habit of a latte on the way to work any longer. Where would I put it? Cold ass air in the face seems to be my morning pick-me-up. Not overpaying for coffee on the way to work more than keeps my tank full.


Earl Thomas said...

A few weeks ago, I had a guy filling his 3/4 ton pickup at a gas station ask me the M.P.G. question, like you, I like to answer that question in my own special way. When he asked me the question, just as I hung the nozzle back on the pump, I looked over at trip meter and replied, "Let's see I just rode 314 miles for $18.00". He didn't say anything, he didn't blink, I think his mind was too busy realizing that his truck probably wouldn't get him much farther than sixty miles on that same amount of gas. I love watching the ensuing grimaces as they calculate the economics of my reply.

There is a term for this, I believe that it's called "Schadenfreude!"

Ride well


Lance said...

Chris, well said. The dollars spent description really puts this into perspective. While I don't commute (I would have to take the freeway and the Elite can make it up to just below 60mph pulling me along), it's amazing the number of in-town trips I have saved with the scooter rather than using a car. Admittedly, though, some of those scooter trips are to get caffeine!

Chris said...


Ever heard Dennis Miller's classic rant about Schadenfreude? It's worth looking up.


I still have the 'coffee as a destination' itinerary on the scooter. It's one of the best things about weekends, not having to spend five bucks in gas for a four dollar cuppa joe. Just don't have the autoresponse of driving past a sbux in the car anymore :)