Wednesday, June 27, 2012
So I started wondering, what if I tracked how long it took me to drive into work as well? Would my bicycling time still be more than my round-trip commutes to and from work in the Mighty Corolla? A few quick calculations made it a clear "no." But happily, 2012 would be a strange year in that my office is moving from where it is now to a new building that's about 12 miles closer to my home.
The new building would reduce my trips home by probably about 30 minutes per day, as the 12 miles on the interstate generally were where the worst most heavily-travelled and slowest part of my trip happened.
The move would be in September, making for four months of shorter round trip commutes, and the possibility of riding my bike some days to and from the office, as the new building is equipped with exercise rooms with lockers and shower facilities.
Numbers were estimated and the goal was created: I'd spend more time riding my bike in 2012 than I would spend commuting to and from work in my car. Because of the move, I'd spend the first 8 months riding a deficit situation, and then after the move in September I'd be riding my bike for more time than commuting and I'd eat away at the gap and probably close the gap and end the year triumphantly with more hours logged in the saddle than in the driver's seat.
With two commuting days left in June, I'm about 33.5 hours short with the bike riding. A couple months ago, I'd have predicted I'd be about 42 hours down. But with recent developments with the office move, my Thursdays from here on out will be ending at the new building (where there's a weekly meeting to status all the facets of the new office construction), so my Thursday commutes home will be shorter.
Indeed, my last two Thursday commutes home have been 33 minutes each. The three before that averaged more than 75 minutes.
And the goal lives on. I continue to enjoy riding my bike for healthy wellness exercise, I continue to obsessively track my commute times and gas mileage, and I get to make nifty pie charts and graphs to keep track of all my data.
Thank you for reading this most boring blog on the planet.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
I had driven the car 419.5 miles and put in 10.931 gallons of gas, making for a fuel economy of 38.38 miles per gallon for this tank.
Gas was $3.169 per gallon. Fredericksburg is an interesting place, because gas is generally ten cents per gallon cheaper than most other places in Virginia, it seems. And by "most other places," I mean the Woodbridge area, which is the only other place where I see gas prices on a regular basis. Here near the office where I work, the "cheap gas at Costco" is $3.269/gallon today.
Meanwhile, people are going nuts that it's summertime and it's going to be hot outside today. I think it'd be a bigger news story if it was summertime and snow was in the forecast, but that's just me.
But we've all been lucky so far this year. There have been no sightings (and by "no sightings," I mean I personally have not seen any of this reported) of and global warming reports as a source of this heat wave. The weathermen are just saying it's a summertime heat wave. And I like that.
Not that I am a global warming unbeliever. Indeed, I am pretty sure that 7 billion people on a planet can't NOT have an impact on things. I do think that I don't like how it's portrayed in the media as two extreme positions: one where the ice caps are irreversibly going to melt and people in Boulder will find themselves with oceanfront property in five years, and the other where we need to drill for more oil and burn more gas in our V8-powered SUVs as we go one mile to the convenience store and expect nothing bad will happen.
I am all for being frugal with whatever resources you have.
I am all for spending as little on gasoline as I can, by buying it at a cheap gas station and also by driving like a Granny to get as good fuel economy as I can.
I am for ceiling fans.
I am against drag racing from one stoplight to the next during rush hour traffic.
I am against driving 40 miles an hour down a residential street. If you're running that late, leave your house a little earlier. There's people- your neighbors!- walking down this street you're speeding on.
I am confused by people who think that large cars that get crappy mileage are safer. It seems to me that they get into wrecks and crashes, too. Not only do large cars cost more, they use more gas and are generally more expensive to run and maintain. And they get stuck in traffic just as well as smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, so I don't understand why people would choose to spend more money just to experience the same sort of traffic woes as those of us in smaller cars. "Yay! Spend more money to sit in traffic, too!"
I'm starting to look forward to going home on Tuesday July 3. I think I'll ride my bike home again and whizz past all those solo drivers in their giant metal boxes.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
This time, I'd gone 447.3 miles, and I pumped in 11.547 gallons, making for a fuel economy number of 38.74 miles per gallon, which brought my average for the year up to 38.42 mpg. It was the second farthest I've gone on a tank of gas this year.
And then I got lucky for the highway portion of my commute to work this morning. Not only was traffic relatively light and therefore smoothly free-flowing, I immediately was able to tuck in behind a tractor trailer that went a comfortable speed of about 62 miles an hour. And I was able to follow in the draft of that truck for about 23 miles.
Monday, June 11, 2012
However, I am off on Friday for a three day weekend, but that will be used up by a road trip to visit relatives. But I'll strap the bike to the minivan and hopefully go for a ride whilst there.
Meanwhile, I am pleased that we're a third through the month and the bike riding/car commuting deficit is a shade under 30 hours. According to my rough estimate guess from the beginning of the year, I ought to end this month with a 42-hour deficit and still feel like my goal of riding my bike for more time than commuting in the car is achievable.
My office move appears to have been delayed by a week, but it's still going to be in August.
Maybe I'm just tracking this stuff because as I get older I'm realizing the futility and lack of control I have of much of my life, and this keeping of meticulous records concerning a couple things I foolishly believe I have control over is helping me to keep sane.
That and my fuel economy.
And then my mind wanders towards what my life might look like after the office moves and my commute is not a Herculean effort in patience and tedium every day. Will I sleep in more? Will I get home sooner? Will there be a measurable difference in the quality of my life?
I certainly hope so. I've recently been feeling more twinges and pangs of pain in my lower back and upper neck, and it would be great if it's because of these unnatural hours spent in my car driving to and from my office (where I tend to sit in a cubicle most of the time), which can't be good for my general muscle tone.
Time will tell.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
So some quick math revealed that 10.572 of the 28 gallons went onto the Corolla, making for a fuel economy of 38.32 miles per gallon.
That's about it. It was nine days between tanks, which was higher than my average for the year, but expected since it was coming off a short Memorial Day week of work.
So far this year, I have spent $754.24 on gas for the Corolla, at an average price of $3.575 per gallon, and getting an average of 38.40 miles per gallon.