Long Island native and business owner John Skvarla just moved back into his parents’ Sea Cliff home, and says there’s been one way he’s saved money: biking.
Skvarla, 35, studied Liberal Arts at Nassau Community College and now runs a graphic design company; and he says biking is an affordable alternative to driving.
“With a car, you have insanely high gas prices, the cost to register and insure the car and upkeep it,” he said.
Skvarla said there are limitations that come with biking.
“If I wasn’t living at my parents house right now, I probably would not be able to afford to live around here,” he said.
“When I lived in Austin, it was a lot easier to bicycle around the city; it was a very bicycle friendly city. There’s bike lanes. It’s a bicycle friendly culture, where around here it’s looked down upon,” he said.
While Skvarla owns a car, he says he only uses it for when it’s raining, or snowing: "I don’t really like my car. I don’t like driving it. I don’t like traffic,” he said.
Former Glen Cove resident David Arslanian left Long Island to pursue a life in Boston, not because of the high cost of rent or owning a home, but because of his passion for biking.
Arslanian, 23, attended NYIT for two years before transferring to Wentworth Institute of Technology in Massachussetts. He says he now rides his bike everyday, regardless of the weather, something he was unable to do in Glen Cove.
“If I lived on Long Island, I’d probably still be driving my car all over the place,” he said.
With gas prices recently surpassing four dollars a gallon, Arslanian said he is “absolutely saving money.”
Arslanian says he works as a bike mechanic at a bike shop as well as a network administrator at a small technology company.
Sea Cliff resident and Queens College student Sean McCalmont, 25, says riding a bike to school isn’t a realistic option for him.
“I couldn’t even ride a bike to school if I wanted to,” said McCalmont – who is currently enrolled in summer classes at Nassau Community College. “Gas prices definitely hit my wallet hard, especially going to school everyday.”
McCalmont said he rents an apartment in Sea Cliff with two other people because the cost of living is so high.
“I would like to live on Long Island, going forward,” he said. “But I’m going for teaching and I don’t know if I can get a job. So I’m going to go where the market is. If it’s here, it’s here; if it’s not, it’s not.”