Free and clear

Scott Williams - Denver, CO

Free and clear

About two decades ago, I got a bill for auto insurance and decided I wasn't going to pay it because it was just too high. The last day my insurance was good I parked my car in the back lot of where I worked with the old pallets and tumbleweeds and left it.

So all this time I've been using a bicycle almost exclusively for transportation. Shopping, commuting, everything. Of course there were a few times I had to rent or borrow a truck to move from one place to another. The last time I moved was when I bought my house.

Thanks to the money I saved by bicycling, I was able to pay off that house in just 7 years and 8 months working a blue collar job, a job where I made eight-something an hour when I bought the house. I can tell you that there are few people I have met who've paid off a house in a shorter period, and a lot of people just get further and further into debt. (I guess they think if the government can do it, why not?)

Now I've been unemployed for more than five years and because of my paid-off house and low expenses (due partially to bicycling) I'm still not in debt or any financial trouble. How many people can say that?

I must add here that during this time I did not apply for or accept Unemployment Insurance, food stamps or any other kind of government assistance, nor will I in the future, including socialist insecurity, which is a giant ponzi scheme anyway.

I had to dip into my IRA last year, but for four years I was living off regular savings - the money that went into my bank account after I paid off my house. Again, saving that money would not have been possible without the money I saved by riding a bicycle.

There are myriad reasons for bicycling; health, reducing energy use and pollution, etc. But I think the economic advantages are more compelling, as they are an immediate benefit to the individual.

I also have made several cargo carriers for my various bikes (I have to make a new one everytime some scumbag steals my bike) and they all have been made almost exclusively with stuff from the trash, like the one pictured. The only thing I bought were the bolts that hold it to the frame.

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