Bonnett's first motorized bicycle.
Travis Bonnett is a man of practicality. Itâs that realism that served as the impetus for the 24-year-old Onion Creek resident to mount an engine on the 26-inch Schwinn bicycle that he bought from Wal-Mart in order to save money on gasoline.
Yes, thatâs right. After watching a âhow toâ video on Youtube, Bonnett thought, âWhy not me?â He ordered an engine kit from www.gasbike.net, complete with a half-gallon gas tank, that he installed on the frame of his bike.
âMy friends were skeptical at first,â Bonnett says. âBut honestly, it wasnât very hard to do.â
And much kinder on the wallet. Bonnett estimates that he saves on average of $35 to $40 a week on gasoline. A round trip of 26 miles uses about 3 Â˝ cups of fuel and his daily commute to work at Super One takes roughly 35 minutes.
He recently purchased a Road Master bicycle with plans to convert that into a motorized bike as well, using a 66cc two-stroke engine.
âThe frame is smaller and more compact, which means the engine just pops right into place on that one,â Bonnett explains. âThe Schwinn works well enough, but the frame on the bike is too big, so the engine and wires donât fit like they should. Right now I just have to get one of the rims fixed, bolt the sprocket on and itâs ready.â
Bonnett has equipped both bikes with a speedometer, headlight and a small tool kit for any roadside repairs. Again, Bonnettâs efficiency and calculations come from what he views to be just common sense. Heâs not out to make a statement; he just wants to save some money.
âIâve had some people ask me, âWhy donât you just get a Moped or a gas efficient car?ââ says Bonnett. âIf I did that, I would still be paying thousands of dollars, not including maintenance, tabs, licensing, registration, all of that.â
He figures he has invested around $500 in expenses on both bicycles. He will drive his Chevy pickup truck in the winter, though he casually jokes about putting studded tires on his bike.
âEveryoneâs got their own opinions and advice; I just wanted to find the cheapest way possible to get from point a to point b,â Bonnett says.