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Buying a bicycle is bad for the economy?

I read this many years ago and recently someone forwarded it again. Actually, I do think there are always many different perspectives even if we are speaking about the same thing. The image shows a bicycle and it went on to say that cycling is bad for the economy because a cyclist does not buy car insurance, does not buy fuel, does not send his car for servicing and this went on to say that cyclists are healthier, thus they do not need to go to the hospitals and doctors and thus, many job creation would stop. let’s also look at these 4 things then.

#1 – A RM700 bicycle versus a RM70,000 car.

Think about it. If we assume this person earns the same salary whether or not he rides a bicycle or drives a car, this meant that over the next 5,7 or 9 years, this person has an extra RM70,000 to spend. We assume his bicycle repair and upgrade etc will be small. This extra RM70,000 which the person did not use to buy car will still be spent somehow and it will flow back into the economy and I do think the multiplier effects are aplenty too. He could go for holidays… tourism booms. He could go for more restaurant food… restaurants boom. He could buy more things for more people… happiness booms. I think you get the idea.

bicycle bad for the economy

#2 – I do not think a cyclist spends just the purchase alone

I be honest. I have a BMX bicycle. I have a Mountain Bike. I have a Racing Bike. The reason is a simple one, each one serves a different purpose. In fact, the friends who love mountain biking, do ask them if they ever continue to ride the same bike year after year without any enhancements to the parts, without any modifications and without ever changing to a lighter, better and stronger bike as he progresses. By the way, it’s the same lah. When everyone rides a bike, then peer pressure starts too. “Oh… you ride an old design…” “Oh… your suspension is less comfortable, you should try mine…” The spending / expenses will continue to happen even if it’s a bicycle

#3 No fast food after the biking trip?

If you have friends who bike often, you would also notice their FOOD adventure after the biking trip. I seldom see bikers, after their usual 10km or 20km ride shows off that they eat salad after the ride. And… it does not even need to be after their biking session. Remember… they do not need to spend extra RM1,200 per month on the car instalment? They would spend more n food and it does not necessary need to be healthy food. In other words, if they were to eat fast food, they have MORE money to eat fast food. Think what will happen to their visits to the doctors… and dentists and even pharmacists.

#4 It’s obvious that the writer wanted the sharing to become viral

Let’s always understand what we read and it’s good to also ponder whether the things said in these viral news are real or just for fun. I would believe the news a lot more if they could quote a research over 10 years showing how some economy in some healthy countries going down the drain just because the people in the country are healthier and drives fewer cars. However, as usual, most of the viral news would not have the source and when this happens, I usually would refrain from forwarding it further.

Oh yeah, I have many cycling friends. ALL of them continue to buy a car and ALL of them continue to spend ever more money for their cycling hobby. Hope this explains why I wrote this article today.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of kopiandproperty.com He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. kopiandproperty.com is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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