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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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PERSONAL FINANCE

Bike to work, save money, get fit, help the environment. It seems like a no-brainer, yet you still drive to the office every day.

One reason for putting off your bike-to-work resolution might be all the logistics involved, such as where to store your bike and how to get your belongings to and from the office.

If the goal is to save money, you might be reluctant to spend hundreds of dollars on a bike and equipment before knowing you can stick with the habit.

All are valid reservations, but none is necessarily a deal breaker. Besides the obvious benefits, biking to work could even boost your job performance by giving you more energy.

As the weather warms up, the reasons for procrastinating are dwindling. Here’s a rundown of some common excuses and why they shouldn’t stop you.

It might not be right for me: It’s natural to think twice about any major purchase. Start out by renting or borrowing a bike. That also lets you test different models before making a commitment.

Do a weekend test ride to get an idea of how long and physically taxing the trip will be.

If your office is far, consider a hybrid commute. It might sound complicated, but plenty of people bike part of a commute and take public transit for the remainder.

The costs may outweigh the savings: Prices vary widely, but a basic bike could cost as much as $500. Equipment and add-ons could tack on another $200 or $300.

If the bike’s main purpose is for commuting, you can probably stick with a traditional bike. Beginners might want to pick a model that lets you sit comfortably in an upright position.

The smaller costs to consider include a helmet (about $50), bike lock (about $40) and air pump (around $25).

Battery operated flashers, which you probably want for the front and back of your bike, might cost another $20 apiece.

Need a bigger cash incentive: Besides the significant savings on gas and parking, you could also get a $20 monthly stipend from your employer for biking to work.

Workers can use the money toward any related costs, whether it’s for maintenance or equipment.

The stipend was made available under legislation passed last year, which gives companies tax credits if they decide to offer the allowance.

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