May 31, 2008
May 26, 2008
May 21, 2008
Come see the gorgeous green countryside, explore, and get some perspective back in your mind - as the long miles bring new challenges, and thrust the frustrations of the work week into the roadside ditches. See http://kcbrevets.blogspot.com/ for details!
I will be participating in the 400K, so I hope to see you there!
May 19, 2008
Total Miles: 41,019
People Registered: 1094
People who logged trips: 799
Solo Commuters: 163
Carbon Dioxide saved: 38,885 pounds
Gasoline saved: 2,279 gallons and $8,363
Amazing results! The trick now: Keep it going!
It's a safe bet that many of the miles above were logged by folks that ride to work reagardless of the occasion or the week. There are quite a few (216!) first-time commuters, however! FANTASTIC! Now, keep going... the summer is almost here, weather is excellent, and gas won't get any cheaper! Get out there, and enjoy life at the speed of bike.
At $3.70 a gallon, and 25 MPG, a ten mile commute (both ways) costs $2.96
Doesn't seem like much.
But, at the end of the work week that's about $15.00
At the end of the month, it's $60.00
At the end of the year, it's $720.00
Oh, and that's assuming you ONLY drive to work, have free insurance, never have to buy new tires, replace any other fluids, and have no car payment. Hmmmm....
$720.00 a year in gas.
$3000.00 a year in payments.
$750.00 in insurance.
At 4800 miles a year to work only, let's figure two oil changes and one air filter, ok?
Let's forget about tires, coolant, washer fluid, car washes and seasonal reductions in gas mileage due to air conditioner use.
$40.00 in oil service.
$12.00 for an air filter.
That's $4500 a year.
That's a fair chunk of cash, and a fair percentage of your income.
Assuming you go NOWHERE else.
Considering most drivers average about 12,000 miles a year, that raises the fuel and maintenance costs to a new total of about $5600, assuming that gas stays at the same price.
Change that to a bus pass, and your cost to head to work drops to $520.00 for the whole year. That's 52 local ten-ride passes -- to and from work, five times a week.
That's nearly $4000.00 a year back in your pocket. If you work farther away, the cost savings are even greater, because you pay the same for the pass, regardless of mileage. Use the bus to handle your biggest travel commitment, and get a bike for the weekends - change your lifestyle back to thinking locally; shop locally, eat locally, and help your community thrive.
Ride a bike, and the cost is even lower - offset slightly by bicycle maintenance costs, which are marginal. Chain lube, a new set of tires at the end of the year (or rotate one tire, front to back).
Bottle of lube, $8.00 - probably last six months. New tire, basic commuter tire, long-mileage, probably $20.00. New tube, $5.00.
Any combination of bike and bus is still a benefit over driving a car.
I won't bore you with the other benefits that simply getting OUT of the car can give you -- this is strictly financial. Like ANY good investment or savings plan, it takes time to realize the savings and benefits in your bottom line -- but they are real.
Think about it...
May 14, 2008
Here are some quick hits, that might kill some excuses you might be up against....
1) Don't carry more than you need to: Best examples:
Bike lock: don't carry it with you - leave your lock attached to the bike rack -- it will be waiting for you when you arrive the next day.
Shoes: leave a pair of work-friendly shoes in your desk drawers. Change out of your athletic/riding shoes at your desk.
Ladies: hair dryer, hair care items: have a prep-duffel in your desk with these items; when you get to your desk, pop into the restroom with your bag and finish your morning routine. There are outlets on the walls.
Business clothes: there is a dry cleaner on site, and you can bring some hangers and use your cubicle "coat closet" to house dress shirts, skirts, slacks, etc. This is a big help if you are worried about wrinkles. If you pack your items in a bag, ROLL your clothes to avoid fold marks and wrinkles.
Desk supplies: Have things like spray-on wrinkle relaxer, Febreze, lint rollers, deodorant, subtle and clean perfume, etc. in your desk. Never let anyone KNOW that you rode to work, look professional and clean, without carrying a 50 lb. backpack everyday. There is no reason you can't even wear a suit and tie (men), or a sensible business pantsuit (ladies) at work after cycling in - use your resources - you can still look good, and not rumpled or sweaty.
2) Don't go broke on cycling clothes or the bike: T-shirt and shorts are fine. Only if you develop a habit and start to see benefits from the sport-specific items should you buy them. Don't get fooled into riding to work *IN* your work clothes unless you only live a few blocks away, but keep your initial investment low. Same with the bike. A BMX bike will get you there - seriously. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get rolling -- so don't, until such time as you are committed and start to see a benefit by upgrading equipment. Look at garage sales.
3) Be proud of your choice. Walk tall with your head high as you come into the building. You are making a personal choice and proving to others that it CAN be done. The comments about the "fancy bike shorts" and such will pass. Rise above it. This ain't high school. You're doing the right thing, and lucky for us "green" is now "chic". In this time of cultural change in America, you are a pioneer. Smile.
4) YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AN ATHLETE TO RIDE TO WORK. I am not an athlete. I have a knack and passion for cycling, and I do it a LOT… but you don't have to be in shape, or a nut, or a psycho to do this. When I first started riding to work, I had no business being on a bicycle. The fitness comes, there is a progression to it - but never think for one second that "I'd die if I tried that", or "I'm lucky if I can survive the walk to the parking lot."
You can do it, because *I* can do it.
Take the first step - the rest comes.
May 12, 2008
Let's show some people that it's possible, fun, and the RIGHT thing to do!
THIS WEEK - May 12th thru the 16th... and beyond! Gas isn't cheap -=- make it stick!
TOP-3 REASONS TO BIKE TO WORK (courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists)
Bicycle commuting allows you to include your workout in your daily schedule
Riding a bike instead of your car sitting in traffic is less stressful
Staying in better shape will decrease your chances of getting sick
2. Avoid traffic delays
Off-road trails, bike lanes and wide curb lanes allow you to ride past traffic
Bike commuting takes less time when you account for car parking and traffic
Longer rides can result in less traffic and more enjoyment of your commute
3. Save money
Maintenance costs for your automobile will decrease, as will your gas bill
You will save money on parking (and tickets)
You won't have to have a membership to a gym to workout
May 10, 2008
When life hands you lemons, run over them with your bicycle.
May 7, 2008
It's been a little bit easier to get thru the stresses of life I've been up against lately -- I won't bore you with too many details here, but it's been tough. thankfully, all the things that REALLY matter, the wife, the kids, and everyone's health, have been fine. Everything else seems to be a raging shambles, tho! Whoooo!!!!! Time for a LONG 400K to sort things out and de-stress!
Looking forward to it.
Not a lot of time for more updates, so I'll leave you with the song of the moment, and the nature tally for the local bike trail over the past two weeks:
1 turkey. (honest to goodness wild turkey. He looked nervous, and lost.)
2 sheep. (I pass a local park and petting zoo on my way to work...might explain the turkey, too.)
2 long horn cattle. (see above - the park needs a better fence, soon. Almost got speared.)
27 domesticated dogs.
1 foaming lunatic of a dog.
20 humans (most playing golf, jogging, or taking up space.)
A lot of mud.
A lot of water.
A lot of jealous drivers.
(I can only assume jealousy manifests itself as confused looks at intersections.)
It's always an interesting ride home, that's for sure!
Song of the moment: "Bamboo Shoots Battle" by TRS-80
Peace.... see you on the road. If I don't wave, it's because my new helmet is too freaking big.