Let's Cycle to Work

I filled Goldilocks up to full tank at a discounted price of A$1.31 per litre today. That came up to about A$47.00. That will last me for 2 weeks, if I do not drive the car during weekends. Since I am still ferrying my worker-with-no-car to and fro work everyday, this full tank will probably last me only 8-10 days. Things are getting more expensive here. I don't expect anything different really, considering where I came from.

A month ago, I had to fill up at A$1.50 per litre or so. That was really hurting everyone's pocket because we were able to do it for A$1.20 per litre less than a year ago. A 20% increase in fuel cost was no joke. Driving a car is not a luxury in Perth, it is almost a necessity especially if your work location is not accessible by public transport. I believe my friend Joni, who doesn't drive at all, will have something to say about that. After all she survived 4 years of Perth without driving. Though Joni completely debunk the notion of the car being an absolute need, I will not agree if anyone tells me not driving in Perth makes good financial sense.

Perhaps the above example lies near the borderline between a want or a need, taking into account the commuting situation is Perth and Singapore is largely different. How about a subscribed Sports Channel? Didn't customers raise a racket when Star Hub or Singtel decided to increase the price of streaming their favourite football matches to their home? They will be back signing up or continuing their subscriptions once their heat die down. Absolute need? Absolutely not. There are more examples if we look around ourselves. There are people who subscribe magazines or buy them regularly. There are still millions of households who subscribe the Shitty Times and their spawns. Some gamers pay monthly subscriptions for a dash of online entertainment. Online memberships, club memberships, gym memberships, church memberships, cigarettes, hair dye, I can't even list them all.

The problem is, when we are too casual in adding items to our absolute needs list, we will sink further into a financial mire. Just a few decades ago, none of us had internet or mobile phone bills to service. Though the amount of money we spent on these items isn't a large figure, the fact that we have completely accepted that they are necessities of life is where the trouble lies. That means to say we have little control over our financial health if service providers decided to increase their prices as they please. Most of us still reckon we can always walk away when things get unreasonably unaffordable. In truth, we don't. In reality, we can't. Habits are harder to kick than we think.

How about cycling to work for a start? There is never a good time to start. Summer's too hot, Winter's too cold. Autumn and Spring are too rainy. Perhaps it's worth trying out for a few weeks. It's not about saving money, that is only the bonus side effect of cultivating a good habit. I always enjoyed cycling when I was still a young chap in Singapore. In fact, one of the earliest events I got to Jenny was during a overnight-cycling event where both of us raced through a crazy rain which followed us from ECP to Suntec City. I lost the race despite having good strong thighs back then though I won the rest of them later on in the years to come. Guess we know who is more afraid of rain.

I cycled twice to work in Autumn and had a fall during the first one. That is the price to pay for neglecting my health by not exercising regularly. I hope to try that again, once I get those colleagues to get a bloody car so relieve me from my chauffeuring.  Perhaps once or twice a week for a start. Hopefully I will be fit enough to do it everyday in future. Why not, since:


  1. Please please please do me (and your family) a favour.

    Dont ride a bicycle (or motorbike for that matter) to work in Australia.

    Unless you live in a rural town, or you ride in a dedicated bicycle path off the road (there are bicycle space marked on the road but that doesnt protect you from being side swiped by cars or wind swept by trucks) it is risky business not worth taking.

    So what you have right of way on the road (in Sydney, bicycles are not supposed to use footpath unless allowed by the town council looking after the area)?

    So what you are not in the wrong in the accident?

    So what you do the right thing checking double check, triple check before you turn?

    So what you have the latest safety gadget on the bicycle?

    No amount of sorry or money can compensate for your injuries, time lost in hospital, disability, or your life.

    Think for Albany

    Even if you are a top manager for Optus and an experienced rider will stop you from an accident and death


  2. BTW 2 things:
    1. Your colleagues did not offer petrol money or you decide to waive that from old Chinese habit?

    2. Car in Australia is not a necessity when you have plenty of time. That's why alot of old people is willing to take public transport (subsidised of course) since they dont have to get to work before 7 - 9 am or home from 4 to 7 pm.

    With a car you are buying convenience and extra time you rather spend with your family. This is especially true in winter when sunset at 4.30 pm in Sydney

    1. I agree with xyz on cycling. I think you should start charging your colleague some petrol money or start/join a carpool.

  3. Btw, is it true that there are more doctors from india than all others added up in perth?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. In Melbourne, I cycle to the train station in the mornings, throughout the year. Only on wet and cold days (<2 deg C) do I not ride. It is very enjoyable. I would encourage you to ride if you have a suitable and safe route ( away from fast/ heavy vehicles).

    A reliable bike is essential, plus lights, front and rear. Plus a basic bike repair kit. I'd be happy to assist with any info/advice required.