Meet Kevin Mabry, a father, husband and bicycle commuter. He’s also an Account Manager for Hawk Bio-Pharma and a former Personal Trainer. Kevin is known by his friends as “Mr. Fitness.” They call him that name because he earned himself a BS in Kinesiology and has an extensive background in nutrition, exercise and supplementation. Back in the day, Kevin wrestled all through out High School and into his College years. He wrestled for Palomar College and Cal State Fullerton in Division 1. If you don’t know anything about wrestling and division 1, basically that means Kevin is one tough Mama Jamma.
He and his wife Brenda have become a 1 car family. They haven’t always been like this. The Mabry’s each have owned cars since the the day they got married 5 years ago.
Just recently within the past 4 months, the Mabry family agreed and took on the challenge of relying on one car. The first thing they did was to get rid of both of their cars. Brenda was driving a nice plush, comfy, V6 Toyota 4Runner while Kevin, drove an older Honda Accord.
They sold the 4Runner, then the Accord. Then with the help of Kevin’s loving parents, they received an older model, Ford Crown Victoria, also known as “The Cop Car” as a loaner. It wasn’t love at first sight, but they started to enjoy the luxuries of the Cop Car such as, a large comfy couch in the back seat, and sleek but bold styling of a genuine piece of Americana. Of course, they have tons of fun seeing people slow down once they see the cop car drive by.
The Mabry’s started getting accustomed to driving the Cop Car. Then it was Kevin’s turn to fulfill the agreement and start riding his bike to work. As excited as Kevin was, he had one minor problem. He didn’t own a bike. But a fellow churchgoer, Ben Castaneda gave Kevin a bike and helmet to use.
Kevin’s commute wasn’t too difficult about 4-5 miles per day, but it did pose a challenge. There is a nasty hill about 1/2 a mile long that he has to face everyday. If you live anywhere near Fullerton, Ca. it’s the hill between St.College and Associcated on Bastanchury. Once you see it, then you can slightly become more sympathetic for Kevin.
I spoke to Kevin a few days ago to find out some of the benefits and challenges of becoming a one care family and commuting to work. Here’s what he listed as the benefits:
“Decrease stress, Excitement and Stimulation of riding a bike, I get to enjoy nature, I save tons of money every month; I don’t have to pay for car insurance for two cars, I have more energy than before, Riding your bike to work builds character”
According to the Kevin, there aren’t too many challenges but said there’s a couple to list:
“The big hill and having to get up a little earlier.”
As you can see the benefits completely over shadow the challenges of being a one car family and commuting. I then asked Kevin how much he and his wife save each month now they don’t have any car payments and the additional expenses such as car insurance, maintenance, and gas of an extra car.
Since Brenda is in charge of their finances, she gave me a clear breakdown on how much they save?
$120 per month for car insurance
$200 car payment
$100 gas per month
$80 per month for maintenance such as oil changes and etc.
$500-Total Monthly savings.
I was blown away by how much they saved! That’s $6000 per year! With savings like that, they can go to Hawaii every year for a 2 weeks at a time, they can put that money to work towards paying off their debt, or save up for a down payment on a house. There are so many possibilities that a person can do with $500 a month!
The hope of introducing Kevin and his family to the readers of CommutebyBike was to inspire, and provoke your thoughts on the possibilities of becoming a 1 car family that commutes. Kevin provided us with all the benefits and challenges as well as the monthly savings they are experiencing. I know there are few of you right now that are reading and started thinking about taking on this responsibility. It’s hard, I know because I often see Kevin pedaling his bike past my house while he’s on his way to work. But you can clearly see the benefits because every time I do see him, on or off his bike, he’s a bit more stress free and happier.
I’d like to thank Kevin and Brenda for sharing their story and commitment. Both of them are great examples on how dedication and hard work pays off.