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Anne Fisher, a senior writer at Fortune magazine, has a column called ‘Ask Annie’. The current topic - syndicated on CNN.com and currently one of the most read stories of the day - is all about the rising price of petrol and how this impacts on car commuters.
The answers she puts forward include working from home “in bunny slippers” through to catching the bus once in a while.
And, of course, cycling to work. There has been an avalanche of such ‘think bike’ stories in the mainstream US press of late. Cycling seems to have come in out of the cold. It’s still seen as a fringe, sandal-wearing activity by many but it sure is cost-efficient, and in credit crunch times, that’s a headline grabber.
Newbie bike commuters quickly learn to love cycling to work for reasons of fat-busting and fun but penny-pinching is a good introduction. And Annie Fisher ends her piece with a corker of an economic argument:
“Of course, it isn’t practical for everyone to bike to work, but before you decide you can’t, consider these figures, from the American Automobile Association: With gas prices where they are now, the annual cost of owning a car and driving it roughly 15,000 miles is about $14,000. It costs about $120 a year to maintain a bike - or, if your employer is footing the bill, it costs nothing.”