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Commuting via Bicycle

Posted Oct 05 2010 12:41pm

I think I mentioned this before, but one of the reasons that I purchased my bike was because I want to start using it ride to class and work.

I will look like that tomorrow when I am riding to work ;)

I am looking at it this way…

By biking to class and work:

  • I am saving money in gas
  • I am saving the environment
  • I am getting more experience on the bike
  • I am getting exercise (not that I need anymore)
  • I am saving time (It takes me 30 minutes to get to class when it is 2 miles away; today I biked there in 15 minutes)

How can those things be bad?

Do you bike or walk to work/school?

Here are some bike commuting statistics :

Bicycling Improves Your Health

We all know that America REALLY needs this!

  • Number one strategy for reducing inactivity-related diseases: shifting from auto trips to walking and bicycling [Centers for Disease Control],
  • New bicycle commuters can expect to lose 13 pounds their first year of bicycle commuting. [Bicycling Magazine]
  • Behind tobacco, leading cause of death among adults: inactivity / sedentary lifestyles [California Dept. of Health Services]

Bicycling Makes Financial Sense

Remember that I am in college and I spend the little money that I have at  Whole Paycheck .

  • Trimming one vehicle from your household, saves you $340/month [City of Seattle]
  • Cost to purchase and install one bike parking rack: $1503
  • Number of bikes that can be parked in one car parking space in paved lot: 6 – 203
  • Estimated cost of constructing one car parking space in a paved lot: $2,000
  • Estimated cost of constructing one car parking space in a garage: $20,000 – $30,000

Bicycling Makes Environmental Sense

Our “Earth” is going down the gutter because of the way that we are treating it.

  • America’s cars and trucks consume 10% of world’s oil supply [League of American Bicyclists ]

Bicycling is just more fun

Heck yes it is. Right now it is more than running, but I doubt that will last. I had a great run today that sparked something.

  • 25% of the U.S. population bicycles [Omnibus Transportation Survey by Bureau of Transportation Statistics, July 2001]
  • 20% of Washingtonians rode a bicycle in 2001 [WA State Assessment of Outdoor Recreation, March 2002]
  • 60 million Americans bicycle at least once per year [Bikes Belong]
  • While in Japan 15% of commuters bicycle to work, in the Netherlands 50% of commuters bicycle and in China 77% commute by bike; only 1.6% of U.S. commuters bicycle to work [Washington State Energy Office Extension Services]

Today was my first day of commuting and I really enjoyed it. I actually left LATER than I usually do on Tuesdays, but I still had time to stop at Starbucks before class. While I probably spent more money on coffee than I would have on gas, I still made really good time. Hey, at least I brought my own cup ;) That cancels it out right?

My goal is to bike to class 4 days a week, giving myself one day to wuss out if it is too cold or I am feeling really lazy. Trust me, I get LAZY. However, I want to bike to work on the weekends when possible and I also want to bike when I am doing errands. Tuscaloosa isn’t very big, so biking to the store  or to Target isn’t a problem. Hopefully this will help me spend less as well ;)

I love being outside, I love being active, and I love helping out the environment as much as I can (my parents think I am nuts for buying “natural” cleaning supplies). I know that one person (me) can’t do much, but hopefully I will inspire other people to do the same. That is my goal.

I am also thinking about hosting some kind of “commuting” challenge on my blog. I don’t want to start one if no one is interested in joining, so please let me know if you are. If I can get a few people, hopefully we can spread the word and get others involved as well. Please leave me some feedback if you are interested!

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