A Bicycle is Not the Solution

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ThisDinosaur
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A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by ThisDinosaur » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:05 am

My job regularly requires me to go, with little notice, as far as 12 miles across town to an outlying location. I have to be able to make this trip in under 30 minutes. Tried the bike; got reprimanded for taking too long. I've been using uber, but its been racking up at $12-20-ish per trip. Cab once cost $80(!).

I'm wondering if any of you outside-the-box thinkers can come up with a solution that doesn't involve purchasing a car.

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Riggerjack
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by Riggerjack » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:07 am

Company car.

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Dragline
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by Dragline » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:12 am

Electric bike or motorized one come first to mind.

But a car might be a better solution if your job location keeps changing and could not ultimately be solved by moving.

Another possible solution might be negotiating with your employer to pay for trips from the main job location. Or ride sharing and paying another for gas if that's possible.

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Riggerjack
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by Riggerjack » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:12 am

Company car. This is the traditional solution for companies that need employees in multiple places. Talk to your boss about it.

IRS rules allow depreciation for your private vehicle for non commuting business use. The rules for corporations to have company vehicles are more generous, in that the documents aren't as onerous.

This then becomes a advertising option for the company, and a general goodwill gesture to employees.

Good luck.

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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by jacob » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:15 am

No idea. We still keep our car around for this exact reason (DW's job) but they reimburse mileage at the federal rate, so score $$.

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BRUTE
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by BRUTE » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:43 am

+1 Riggerjack

company wants ThisDinosaur to be in a certain place for work in a certain amount of time? company better provide transportation.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:48 am

Could you avoid making the trip by working remotely? Or could the task be scheduled? Or could the task be eliminated?

jacob
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by jacob » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:04 pm

Riggerjack wrote:IRS rules allow depreciation for your private vehicle for non commuting business use.
AFAIK, for employees that's if and only if you're itemizing (i.e. schedule A).

tommytebco
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by tommytebco » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:50 pm

For around $200 you could add a small engine to your bike
http://www.gasbike.net/

admittedly, you probably need a bit of a greasy thumb to install and maintain it. But since seem they go 30 mph pretty easily, you meet the time requirements. (I see them on the road locally some go quietly down the sidewalks at 10 mph or so. Others wide open at near 45 mph on the main road.)

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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by jacob » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:58 pm

Also, IIRC, the average speed of a car in the US is 18mph (that's arrived at by dividend total miles driven by total time spent in car for everybody), so 12M in 30 minutes or 24mph might be a bit much to ask even for a car. I can or could push a bike over 20mph sustained (at least for 30 min intervals), but even in the burbs my average speed went under 17mph, a couple of stops and traffic lights will ruin the average no matter how hard you try to hammer between them.

Scott 2
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:30 pm

Keep using the bike, do the rest of the job well enough that they are willing to suffer the hassle, or assign that specific task to someone else.

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Ego
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by Ego » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:49 pm

This problem requires a social engineering solution. The boss may know he/she is demanding something unreasonable from you but is hoping you won't fight them on it. So don't fight.

Ask them the magic question. "May I ask for some advice? I commute by bicycle. You need me at X faster than I can get there on my bike. The company has not been reimbursing me for using Uber and I am sure you would agree that it is not correct for me to be paying this cost myself. What would you do if you were in my shoes?"

Be silent and let your boss work out the answer.

ThisDinosaur
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by ThisDinosaur » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:06 pm

Ego's solution was my solution, and it backfired dramatically. When I *politely* asked to stay at one location during the day, I immediately found myself being asked to travel across town more often than any other employee. Its worth noting that exactly half of our team is never asked to make this trip (including all 3 bosses and every underboss who makes the schedule.) When my boss found out I was trading assignments with coworkers, he essentially threatened to fire me.

@RiggerJack and Brute, strong-arming the company isn't likely to work out here. Considering my affable request was treated like a retaliation-worthy demand to begin with. (My EQ levels are even lower than I was aware, prior.)

A quick google search shows electric bikes run around a grand or more. I'm fairly sure you can't take them on the interstate, or ride them at a sustained 24-40mph.

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Olaz
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by Olaz » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:10 pm

Maybe a motorized scooter?

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Dragline
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by Dragline » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:17 pm

ThisDinosaur wrote:Ego's solution was my solution, and it backfired dramatically. When I *politely* asked to stay at one location during the day, I immediately found myself being asked to travel across town more often than any other employee. Its worth noting that exactly half of our team is never asked to make this trip (including all 3 bosses and every underboss who makes the schedule.) When my boss found out I was trading assignments with coworkers, he essentially threatened to fire me.
This strikes at a deeper problem. I think I would start looking for a new position if I were in your shoes.

ThisDinosaur
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by ThisDinosaur » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:51 pm

I anticipated somebody might suggest to quit and find a better situation. I consider it daily. Three problems:

1)Its the most money I've ever made and would be hard to match anywhere else.
2)The uncomfortable relationship with the boss is strong motivation for my high savings rate.
3)I'm not optimistic about finding a better situation at another job. I've clashed with bosses before (not this bad) and am aware that means *I* may be the problem.

Another response I anticipate is, "if you make that much money, suck it up and buy the car." It might be that that's the answer (I hope not.)
It's certainly likely that the answer involves me figuring out how to correct the arrogant quality I apparently project. (Wife calls me the Man-splainer.)
Many of you seem to have your shit together better than I do.
Long term solution = ERE.
Short term solution = ???

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BRUTE
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by BRUTE » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:28 pm

brute would've +1'ed Dragline, but if the money is really that good.. looking for the cheap vehicle might be worth it. super cheap 90's corolla or maybe an old motorcycle/scooter if weather permits.

still it doesn't hurt to look for new jobs on the side. maybe other companies are willing to pay as much, or a similar amount, without the pain. the economy is pretty strong right now, and wages have gone up over the last few years. maybe the current salary isn't as unique as it once was.

it's hard to judge ThisDinosaur's people skills across the internet, of course, but in this particular situation, it doesn't sound unreasonable to brute to ask the company to pick up the slack - it's their demand. of course it might be that in past interactions ThisDinosaur has built up a negative reputation/negative social capital or is a terrible "man-splainer", thus causing offense in bosses in not that unreasonable situations. hard to tell.

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Ego
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by Ego » Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:26 pm

Do you think they are using this as an excuse to get rid of you? If so, you should probably start looking for another job because they will probably find other methods if this one fails.

Alternatively, you could document everything, including the times you and your coworkers are required to travel to the other site and every conversation with your boss. I'm fairly confident they've got to reimburse you for the travel (depending on which state you live in, maybe?) if you are required to go from one work site to another. Was car ownership part of the conditions of hire in the job description? If not, you could probably 'win' the battle but that win may cause you to lose the war.

pukingRainbows
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by pukingRainbows » Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:04 pm

It does sound like they don't like you.
If that's the case, I would do a couple things.

1. Start looking for another job
2. Do a great job and try to make yourself popular at those other worksites with those clients or co-workers.
3. Document what's going on.
4. Keep biking

They'll complain but if they are choosing you to go knowing you only bike, that's their choice. If they want you to go and be there faster, they need to provide you the means to do so.

I wouldn't get a car. It seems like a complicated, expensive solution to a symptom of the real problem: that your boss is a jerk to you.

General Snoopy
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by General Snoopy » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:28 pm

Dragline wrote:
ThisDinosaur wrote:Ego's solution was my solution, and it backfired dramatically. When I *politely* asked to stay at one location during the day, I immediately found myself being asked to travel across town more often than any other employee. Its worth noting that exactly half of our team is never asked to make this trip (including all 3 bosses and every underboss who makes the schedule.) When my boss found out I was trading assignments with coworkers, he essentially threatened to fire me.
This strikes at a deeper problem. I think I would start looking for a new position if I were in your shoes.
My reading of the tea leaves is that they want you gone. Look for another job and do it now. You may find yourself let go unexpectedly. The fact it is the highest paid does you no good if you are let go.

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Sclass
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by Sclass » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:17 pm

Your boss sounds like an ass. I'd suggest a full out motorcycle but really look for another job.

Sound like idiot business owners who don't understand liability. Driving from site to site in personal vehicle is a tricky game if there is an accident. The fact they don't know this, and they'd let you ride a bicycle eight miles on company business suggests they're idiot operators.

Company cars use company insurance and there is a reason for this. They're idiots. I don't know who you work for but my guess is they're losers and you are wasting your time trying to perform for them.

Move on.

KevinW
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by KevinW » Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:21 am

Sclass wrote:Your boss sounds like an ass. I'd suggest a full out motorcycle but really look for another job.
+1

Prima facie this does not sound like a job worth investing in.

Setting that aside, a used 100-250 cc motorcycle or scooter in very good condition is probably the cheapest way of solving this problem. An ugly but mechanically solid $2-3k craigslist Toyota is probably a close second. The optimal solution depends on your web of goals (e.g. how inclined you are to do repairs and whether the vehicle could help with other projects).

ThisDinosaur
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by ThisDinosaur » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:22 am

Yes, I've considered that they may be trying to get me to quit. But remember that we are all viewing this situation through my paranoia. At this point, I think it is just as likely that this is some sort of power play, and I stepped out of line by making a request. Since I'm not above brown-nosing a narcissist for the right price, I will try to play the subservient role a little better before making the request again.
Dealing with this type of person strengthens my resolve toward FI, so a consumer solution (buying a car) to appease a D-bag employer :evil: ... causes me some cognitive dissonance.

ThisDinosaur
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by ThisDinosaur » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:23 am

Alternatively, I may just get more defiant until somebody breaks and I walk.

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Riggerjack
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Re: A Bicycle is Not the Solution

Post by Riggerjack » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:32 am

I think Ego had the best idea. Since it didn't work, I suggest shopping for a new boss. Either at your current employer, or a different one.

To me, today very strongly reminds me of 2007. If I were boss shopping right now, recession resistance would be on my list of desired features...

Good luck.

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