In my previous Business Commute Challenge 2011 post, I kind of put the carrot out there and challenged myself to see if I could ride my bike to work every day for a month. Not just the one week of the BCC, but until June 10.
Today’s June 10 and I want to report back to you that I made it.
During the month between May 10 and June 10, I only drove my car to work two days. I rode my bike all the other days. To and from work. To and from meetings. I logged 224 miles on my bike. Which means I saved about $40 in gasoline, lost about 5 pounds and got some pretty good workouts.
The two days I drove were the two days right after Memorial Day weekend. I got a bad cold over the weekend and was still feeling sick Tuesday and Wednesday. I didn’t feel like riding. Hey, I was having trouble breathing and was coughing just sitting still. So I drove.
But the point isn’t that I didn’t exactly make my goal. The point is I think I enjoy biking even more now than when I started. Fair enough, we’ve had some pretty mild weather this last month. Very little rain (at least in the mornings coming in and the evenings going home). But I enjoy riding even more now than a month ago.
And, also fair enough, Eugene, Oregon, where I live has to have some of the best bike paths, lanes and streets of any community I know. So when it’s easier to get somewhere by bike, we are more likely to ride. And I have to admit, riding past a line of cars stuck in traffic has a certain feeling to it that’s a little hard to describe.
And riding along the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Trail bike/pedestrian path and enjoying the fresh, crisp morning air, chirping birds, pooping geese (well, I could live without the pooping geese, but the goslings are cute), and the spring flowers has a certain feeling, too, that is kind of hard to describe.
I’m finding I like biking better than driving. Not being stuck in traffic, inhaling exhaust fumes, enduring tense, uptight drivers. Oh, there are the few bikers and pedestrians that are uptight, but they are the few. And some of my biking is along a busy street, so I suck my share of fumes. But I have some good gear: a good helmet, rain gear, wrap-around eye glasses and wonderful saddle bags.
For me, at this point, it’s become less about saving gas, having a smaller carbon footprint, polluting less and more about sheer enjoyment.
So I’m REALLY hooked now. I’ll check back with you on July 10 and give you all another update.