It has taken me a few day to write this post. I was planning on writing it the evening of the 31st but I was getting ready for the Outdoor Retailer Show which is going on this week. My final results might not have been as impressive as others but here they are:
- Trips saved – 106
- Miles Saved – 589
- Emissions Reduced – 989 lbs.
- Energy Saved – 27 Gal.
- Money Saved – $331
I was surprised at how easy this was to achieve. As I said on Day 1, I love my car. But by changing a few things I was able to get to work and back without using a car. I was hoping to go the whole month without ever driving to work in my car. I fell short of that goal on day 31. I was sick all night and should have just stayed home from work, but went anyway. I wasn’t able to wake up early enough or have the energy to bike to work. So I drove. But I have made up for it now.
I thought when I started this challenge that I would do it for a month and then get back in my car and drive to work. I was surprised at how much I really started to enjoy the time it takes to commute. It is nice to be able to ride the bike and get some excerise. Also if I choose not to ride the bike, I have time to get on the computer and get some work done that I wouldn’t have an opportunity to do.
I have come to realize that by having a bus/trax monthly pass actually give me a little more flexibility. I would have said the complete opposite before I started this challenge. The past couple of days, I have been gong to the Salt Palace for the Outdoor Retailer Show and I have commuted everyday there. Usually I drive and have to find a place to park then pay for it. Now I hop on the bus and trax and I am dropped off a few feet away from the show. I am not saying that commuting is always more convenient, but it does provide more options.
Now that the challenge is over, I am planning on registering my car sometime this month. I will start to driving occasionally to work I’m sure. But this challenge has really changed the way that I am going to be getting around town. It has shown me that will a little planning and determination, it is not that hard to reduce my emissions.
If you weren’t able to or just didn’t get around to trying this challenge. I would like to challenge you to try it this month. Not for the whole month, but for a few days. I think that you will find out that it isn’t all that bad and the extra time spent can be used for different activities that you would be doing at home anyway. I would love to hear about others successes or stories about the challenge. Please comment and let others know how it went.
As I said in the previous post, I have now added biking into my commuting arsenal. I have decided tip number 1 for biking to work. Watch the weather reports. I was not ready for the rain today. It was a hot day and the rain felt good, but my electronics were not looking forward to getting soaked. I luckily found a plastic bag to wrap my phone in, then wrapped it in my change of clothes. I only made the mile long mad dash to Trax where I was able to hide out from the rain. I rode Trax and the bus home to try and dry out a little. My back and butt were sopping wet, but I made it home.
So from now on I am going to pay a little better attention to the weather. Not that I will not ride to work when it is raining, I will just come better prepared to handle it.
Any tips on what gear to have handy for most situations that one might encounter when commuting on a bike? I would like to put together a bag or trunk bag of stuff that is useful.
So I finally did it. I have been talking about riding my bike to work all month but have not got my lazy butt to do it. I decided today was the day. I asked my boss if it would be okay if I was a little late to work because I was going to give biking a shot, he said no problem. He has been supportive the whole time as I have been figuring out how to commute doing the challenge.
Before I rode my bike I did do a little research. I wanted to know which roads were bike friendly. I didn’t want to hop on my bike and worry about being hit by a car. The Salt Lake County Bicycle Advisory Committee has published a brochure that has a map of the city and preferred roads for cyclists. You can pick up a free copy at local bike shops or libraries but you can also download it from their site here. Check it out there are some great tips and information in there.
Another reason I have been dragging my feet to ride my bike to work, is because I wanted to find a bike that I could use just as a commuting bike. I was lucky enough to find one at the Deseret Industries (a local thrift store) for a reasonable price. The bike pictured above is the bike I found. I had to put new tires on it and clean it up a little but other than that is works pretty well. I am going to have to get it a tune up, but at the price I paid I am sure I can afford that.
So this morning I woke up and loaded up a change of clothes and a drink and off I went. I have to fess up. I didn’t ride my bike the whole 16 miles to work. I biked 8 miles to Trax then rode Trax for 7 then finished on the bike. but it worked out great. I was able to cut 15 minutes off my commute. Biking to the train station only took me 5 minutes longer than when I ride the bus. I am sure as I continue to ride, I will be able to shave off another 5 to 10 minutes of that time as well. Also the last mile to work that I usually walk is a lot faster on the bike.
Going into today I was apprehensive about riding because I didn’t want it to take longer and be all sweaty for work. But after doing it once, I am excited. In the long run this will save me time and money. I wasn’t able to try the commute home because my wife picked me up but I am sure that this will speed up my commute home by 30 minutes.
My wife and I have been riding to the store, library, or anywhere else that is reasonably close for a couple years now. We love it and it is a great way to reduce our footprint. Our kids love it as well. We load them up in the trailer and off we go. I will now start riding to work a little more often. If you have ever wanted to give biking a shot, my advice, just do it. Start small, bike to the store or to a friends house. After you master that keep adding mile and eventually you will be there.
If you have suggestion or tips, please comment. I would love to hear about other’s experiences on the bike. Until next time, keep riding!
This past week I didn’t save as much as I would have hoped. I still commute to work and ride my bike when I can. Right now I have saved the following:
- Trips saved – 64
- Miles daved – 340
- Emissions Reduced – 571 lbs.
- Energy Saved – 15 Gal.
- Money Saved – $191
The other thing that I have noticed so far is that my wife and I already follow a lot of the travel wise tips. If we are going to be going out we will usually plan ahead and trip chain. I am looking forward to another week. I keep saying this but I really hope to get the bike out this week and ride to work.
Half way there. Today I was going to ride my bike but woke up a little late. I had a problem with the snooze button. I did however catch the bus on time and was on time to work again. I think I have been on time more now that I use public transit than when I would drive to work. I think that is a little backwards but I guess in the car, I would try to cut it too close.
The only problems I have come into with commuting is the heat. It has been super hot the last few days and the walk to the Trax Station has seem twice as far.
But on the positive side, today on the way home my wife was out visiting family by my work, so she dropped off my boy to ride the train and bus home with me. Ever since I have been riding to work he has wanted to come a long with. He had a blast. If you think riding the train or bus is boring, then find a three year old to ride with you. As the train stopped to pick us up, he yells, “All aboard.” He loved going over bridges and watching the people get on and off.
The bus ride home was just as fun. He makes the routine route seem just a little more exciting. I didn’t get to listen to my music or get on the computer but I was able to spend some time with my boy. Commuting has been getting easier.
To end the day today, I hooked up the trailer to my bike, loaded the kids, and rode down to the ball field to watch my brothers play softball. Saving trips is not all that hard if you do a little planning and you try just a little harder.
It has now been officially a week. Here are my numbers:
- 37 Trips Saved
- 183 Miles
- 314 lbs. of emissions saved
- 8 gallons of energy saved
- $99 saved
I am hoping to do a little better this coming week. I have had to drive my car a couple times this past week to get some stuffed moved and delivered.