Friday, April 23, 2010

Bike 21: Official!

This is sort of anti-climatic, but on April 14, 2010 I finally reached Bike Commute #21! Hooray!

At the outset of my venture into bike commuting, my goal was to ride to work 21 times. The reasoning being that it generally takes doing something for 21 days to really make it a habit. I'm stretching a bit since I knew I wouldn't be able to bike commute every work day for 21 days in a row. Still, 21 bike commutes seemed like a worthy goal. I started off in July 2009, and it was a rough start. I averaged one bike commute per month through the end of the year. Though my wife initially suggested that I could get a new bike upon reaching my goal, she let me get a new bike early on my birthday in December. You can see pics of my Masi Speciale CX here.

The new bike proved to be a jump starter, though, and as of today, I am averaging one bike commute per week for 2010. Another small motivator has been the friendly competition I've dubbed the Bike Commute Mileage Challenge that a co-worker started between us (or rather between fictional representations of ourselves, lest it get too personal, perhaps?). Initially I was hesitant to get into any kind of contest, friendly or not, since I was struggling to get started and my co-worker had been frequently riding his bike to work for awhile. Funny what a new bike and a new baby will do. Now the tables have turned. For me the new bike has been an effective stimulus for riding more, and getting the Wednesday commute routine down was also key. On the flip side, the joys and realities of fatherhood (and arranging day care) have slowed down my compadre substantially.

I've got close to 290 miles on my Masi now. That's great, but in terms of offsetting my automobile use, that 's not quite equivalent to a full tank of gas in my 2003 Saab 9-5 wagon, which averages about 22 mpg. That's a little disappointing to look at it that way, but it's better than if I was not bike commuting at all, right? You have to start somewhere.

So, what's next? If I stick to the once per week bike commute, I should be able to rack up at least 500 miles total for the year. Maybe my next goal will be to ride twice a week. I want to test the waters on some longer distance riding, but I also want to do a lot more utility cycling. I want to ride with my kids and get them excited about riding bikes. I need to get them off training wheels!

Part of my Twitter bio says: "(aspiring) part-time bike commuter." I think I'll take off the "aspiring" part now! I'm a full-fledged part-time bike commuter. Look out!

(Oh, by the way, today was Bike Commute #22. A post summarizing Bike Commutes #16-21 should be coming soon.)

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the goal! I wish that I could commute to work but San Diego to Atlanta might be a little tough. One day day!