The Cost of Winter Biking

Winter biking in Minneapolis isn’t for the timid. It’s cold, the roads are both slippery and narrower than usual, and cars aren’t exactly friendly. But Minnesotans are nothing if not hardy, and proud of it. I’ve been biking to work this winter, and here’s what it has cost me:

Winter Tires: $65 each, $130 total. I decided to go with the Continental Winter II tires, because they’re nearly as grippy as studs, fit on the wheels I have, and they were in stock and relatively cheap.

Various bike service odds and ends: $59. I got the winter tires after riding in to work on my normal tires—on 4 inches of snow. When I took my bike in during lunch they also adjusted my brakes, fixed my fender, and replaced an inner tube.

The Extended Trip

Logan Sachon: Hey Mike, have you ever kept extending a weekend trip so that it lasted two weeks?

Places I’ve Lived: <3 <3 Minneapolis <3 <3 and … New York

Where have you lived, Katie Heaney?

Dispatch from Winter

In Minneapolis, it’s already winter, and it’s cold. Not cold enough to wish it was a hundred degrees and humid, but enough to be out in the world without a scarf and think, “It is imperative that I purchase a scarf” ($10 – $30). To avoid impulse scarf purchases, my advice is this: Put a scarf in your bag and keep it there forever. Maybe also some gloves. Perhaps a hat also. But definitely a scarf. Do it now.

Can I Afford to Help People?

In the fall I’m going teach childhood literacy as an AmeriCorps member in Minneapolis.

The job description says that the pay is approximately $900/mo., but other AmeriCorps members have told me that after-tax take-home pay is more like $800/mo. That’s $200/week, $9,600/year—a small number no matter how you phrase it. I’m passionate about childhood literacy—it’s why I applied for AmeriCorps in the first place—but before committing to the job I had to take a serious look at my finances. Could I afford to spend this year making such a small salary?

Places I’ve Lived: Minneapolis I’m Yours

Where have you lived, Sam Blackwell?