Friday, August 31, 2012

August Roundup

So the month is ending, the office has moved, and there's a deficit of 43 and a half hours to chip away at over the next four months.

I rode my bike for about a thousand minutes in August, which is much less than I have been riding before. I rode almost 1500 minutes in July, and over 1700 minutes in June. September ought to get better, as I'm registered for a century ride next weekend and will be able to continue healthy wellness rides at the office.

I did manage to experience an healthy wellness ride at the office this week, but only for 40 minutes and 10 miles. My start time was delayed because of an unannounced visitor to my cube for a visit that lasted much longer than it needed to.

The neighborhood across from my new office appears to have almost enough roads that I can crisscross the whole area in about an hour without much overlap or repeating any road. And it's pretty flat. But there are stop signs that I slow down for and stop at when there's car traffic.

After two weeks, my new morning commute is averaging 28 minutes, vice 41 minutes over the previous months. And my commute home has averaged 40 minutes, vice 59 minutes in recent months. So that's about 42 fewer minutes of driving each day. Not bad!

My commute is now about 19 miles to the new building. It was about 33 miles to the old building, so a prevention of 28 miles of driving each day, or about 140 miles a week, close to 7,000 miles I won't be driving in the next year, about 190 gallons of gas I won't be using, close to $700 I won't be spending on that gas, about $12 a week not spent on gas.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tank 329 - 24 August 2K10 (First Week Commuting To and From The New Office)

So I refueled last Friday at a Wawa not so near my home. The Mighty Corolla had gone 417.7 miles and I put in 11.316 gallons, making for a mileage of 36.91 miles per gallon. I'm a little bummed that my last three tanks have been less than 37 miles per gallon.

But the more exciting news from last week is that it was the first week of actual commutes to and from the new office (except for last Monday where I drove to the old office at o'dark thirty for the start of the move). So with one week's worth of data, it appears that my trips to the office will be about nine or ten minutes faster than trips to the old building, and trips home will be about 24 minutes faster. This is about what I thought it would be. Well, a little bit less savings than I thought it would be, but it's nice.

The cats at home are used to me showing up right around 5:00 pm, which is traditionally their dinnertime when I make a big production out of taking the measuring cup to the pantry and filling it up with their diet cat food and distributing it to their food bowls.

Now that I show up at 4:30, they think it's dinner time and we all have to sit there listening to them howl and meow as they are expecting dinner.

Oh, the trials and tribulations I must suffer through. Will they never end?

With things starting to calm down with the move, I can begin to focus more on actual work at the office, and also re-commence with my healthy wellness bike rides in the afternoons. If I can ride for an hour at work, that time is equivalent to the time I spend commuting for that day. So I am here today with a 41.39 hour deficit that I am starting to eat away and in the next months I expect to see it disappear, thus achieving my New Year's Resolution of riding my bike for more time than I spend commuting to and from work in my car.

Huzzah!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tank 328 - 16 August 2K12 (Last Tank for the Old Commute)

So I refueled today at the Fas mart near my home. This tank I had gone 405.9 miles and refilled with 11.148 gallons, making for a mileage of 36.41 miles per gallon. The second tank in a row with worse than average fuel economy. It's probably still because I am driving with a heavy foot at times.

More happily, this is most likely to be the last tank I use while officially working at my current office. On Monday, we're moving offices. I'll be showing up at the "old office" to help get the trucks packed, and finish the day at the new office to watch the trucks get unloaded. I suppose that starting on Tuesday, I'll go to the new office first before going to the old office for final move-out and leftover tasks.

But the traffic powers are doing their best to make sure my last days of the current commute are as exciting and lengthy as possible. On my way home yesterday there was a major slowdown because (I kid you not) all of us needed to slow down to admire the heavy traffic driving north! And today a pickup truck decided to flip itself over and cause 2/3 of the lanes to be closed during the morning commute (I know the truck didn't magically come alive and decide to flip itself, but that's unfortunately how most people see it so I'm just catering to the masses).

I had a couple long bike rides over the last weekend, so I'm sitting at a deficit of almost 40 hours to make up for with the bike riding between now and the end of the year. I think it's totally do-able and am looking forward to seeing this number shrink over the next few months.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tank 327 - 5 August 2K12 (A Week of Commuting Home from the New Office)

My last three tanks of gas have been dispensed at the same pump at the same gas station. This time, it was on Saturday, and it was the tank right after one in which I got really good mileage. Usually in these situations, the next tank (this one) is lower than average, and this tank was no exception.

400.2 miles, 10.839 gallons, making for mileage of 36.92 miles per gallon. An interesting almost-coincidence is that I spent $36.52 on the gas, which was kind of close to the 36.92 miles per gallon I got.

My explanation for this poor performance is partially due to my continuing fast driving on the interstate, only without the benefit of drafting behind a large tractor trailer. And also more than a few times of enthusiastic acceleration in little trips around town.

Happily, though, last week I had the opportunity to drive home from the new building instead of the current office. So my four days of driving home from the new building were about 28 minutes faster than average - 32 minutes. Even on Friday when traffic was bad, I got home in 38 minutes, which is among the all-time fastest commute trips home from the current office.

So now we're in August. The move is happening this month. The difference between my bike riding time and my car commuting time is 38.41 hours as of this morning's commute. Also in August, we have 4 birthdays, and I know that for one of them I will be instructed to not ride my bike for the day of, before, and after, out of deferential reverence towards the noble birthday celebrants. So that'll hinder my progress towards my goal of riding my bike for more time than driving in the car.

But there will be opportunities to catch back up. If I man up and actually park the Mighty Corolla at the commuter lot and ride my bike the 6.7 remaining miles to the office a couple days per week, the drive part on those days will be about 20 or 25 minutes each direction, and the bike part will be about 30 or 35 minutes each direction - advantage BIKE. My current situation allows me three days of healthy wellness rides per week, at about 50 minutes each, which covers only my trip home time in the car, so the half and half commute will result in a positive gain on the bike for those days.

But I'll also have sunrise/twilight situations to worry about, so I need to account for bike lighting and stuff. But that will work itself out.

These next few months will be great for collecting and compiling all this great data!