Me at the Arlington and Alexandria Community Bike Ride

Ever since the beginning of this year, I have been tracking my daily mileage for every ride I do. Since I am a regular bicycle commuter, this starts to add up pretty quickly. Yesterday, I hit a milestone for the year 2007 -- I have biked over 1,000 miles since the beginning of the year. That figure might be slightly higher in reality because I integer round the distance of my daily commute down by around 0.4 miles, but it should be close enough.

I started bicycle commuting in earnest last summer, and for most of that I've kept a GPS unit on my handlebars -- this afternoon, I'll hit another milestone on that of 1,500 miles, however, that should be dramatically lower than reality since when the batteries on the unit die it isn't counting distance, and if I'm in dense cover, I don't always get a good GPS reading. Reality is probably in the 1,750-2,000 mile range. I can't be as sure as I am for 2007, since I didn't keep such detailed logs before the start of the year.

Since I'm a statistics junkie, here are some breakdowns for you. The most mileage heavy week was the week of May 6th when I did 80 miles in a week. There have only been 3 weeks this year when I did not ride at all -- due to snow before I got my studded tires and an injury (87.5% of the weeks in the year so far). The weekday I bike the most is Wednesday (15 times this year), followed by Monday and Tuesday (11 times each), followed by Thursday (10 times -- tomorrow would make 11) and Friday (9 times -- if I bike this week 10). If I end up riding tomorrow and Friday (quite likely) I've averaged 43.75 miles a week. If I drove each of those days I would have paid $130.20 in gas (assuming $3.10 a gallon), paid $928 in parking fees -- or $348 in Metro fees for a grand total (car and parking) of $1,276 -- not to mention wear and tear on the car. The reduced mileage on my car made my car insurance drop by $27 a month since it is now used for "pleasure" which adds another $162 ($324 a year)! If we go on the assumption that I will continue on at the same rate, that is $2,876 projected to be saved this year. If we assume I'd just metro, I'm still saving $1,020 for the year. And using the estimate that every mile biked stops 1 pound of carbon from entering the atmosphere, I will have spared the air 1,050 lbs of carbon (2,100 lbs for the projected year). Not too shabby. A final note ... since I started last summer, I've shed 35 pounds off my own weight and gotten into the best shape I've been in for a long time. I look forward to every single mile.

Kinda makes me want to go for a ride ...