November 30, 2008

Biking update

My New Year's Promise for 2008 was to ride my bikes farther than I drive our car.

Mileage totals, 30 November:
Biking, 4608 km, 2864 miles
Driving, 6080 km, 3779 miles

This doesn't look so good. In order to reach my goal I'd need to bike 50 km a day every day up to the end of the year and not use the car at all -- to pick up a Christmas tree or buy food or bring a carload of equipment to the electron storage ring for a study.

Even so, its been an interesting year. I started taking bike maintenance seriously -- it's a lot more fun to ride when your bike's in shape. I discovered that you can do without a car pretty well most of the time. The kids bike to school and we bike to work, and most of the trips to get groceries are by bike.

There are times when it is hard to do without a car though. We visit my wife's Aunt a few times a year, she's in her 80s and lives alone. We drove up to Stockholm to see my wife's parents this summer, and that one trip was 25% of our annual use. And sometimes I can't avoid driving to work -- doing this once is worth two weeks of biking, since most of the distance of the commute is by train.

In fact, most of the time when I drive I am not alone in the car. Like we were four to Stockholm, so I should subtract 1500 km * (1 - 0.25) = 1125 km. Similar trips to see Aunt give credit of 500 km. If I wanted to I could add some bike miles since I've noticed that most of the time I am biking into the wind, not to mention bonus kilometers for heavy driving mist, frozen slush and full body splashes from light duty trucks.

Adjusted mileage totals, 30 November:
Biking, 4608 km, 2864 miles
Driving, 4455 km, 2769 miles

Not half bad?

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At December 03, 2008 5:05 AM , Anonymous chaz said...

You da man either way you figure it.

I am a big believer in New Year Resolutions. Even if I don't make it, I feel it makes me a better person.

This year, I tried not to swear.

At December 03, 2008 2:48 PM , Blogger rigtenzin said...

You are an honest guy to admit you fell short of your goal, but I think it was too difficult anyway.

However, I bet you didn't know that the International Bicycle Commuter Union allows a bonus multiplier for headwind miles. Multiply the number of miles you rode into a headwind by the wind speed. That'll fix your shortcoming.

At December 03, 2008 9:29 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Awesome! Thanks for the tip! Thanks IBCU!


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