Back in 2009, I started commuting to work via bike. Not a “full” commute from home into work. I drove part way and parked, then rode in the rest of the way. My reasoning for doing this was to save money, foremost. Parking uptown here is $5/day. Way cheaper than the $15/day I used to pay when I worked in Washington DC. Still though, $5 a day turns into $25/week. That’s $100 a month. That’s $1,200 a year to PARK? Oh, hell no…..
Back in 2009 I was so new to all this. I only rode in 3 miles (round trip) and was so skittish about the whole thing that I rode on the sidewalks (against traffic.) If 2012 Commuting Ray saw 2009 Commuting Ray, I would’ve bitch-slapped myself! I was doing so many things wrong.
Fast forward to 2012, and I’m commuting to work more and more. Longer distances too. No more 3-mile routes. 13, 21, 26, or 38-mile (round-trip) routes are now what I tackle on a daily basis.
I no longer ride the sidewalks. I take back roads that I meticulously map out and I’m constantly looking for safer, FLATTER routes.
I no longer carry my work stuff in a backpack (which ends us SOAKING your back, and puts all the weight on you and your shoulders.) Saddle-bags now adorn my commuter bike. Saddle bags equipped with reflectors, and lights to be seen. I let my bike carry the weight. That’s what it’s made for.
What do I have to show for 3.5 years of commuting by bike?
– I’ve saved over $2,080 in parking
– I’ve ridden over 2,700 miles simply by commuting
– I’ve saved over $450 in gas with the miles I now RIDE, instead of Drive
– I’m saving wear and tear on my car….
– I’ve dropped 20lbs and now view my commute as the BEST part of my day
So many benefits to commuting by bike. My coworkers (and my wife) think I’m nuts. The 2nd 1/2 of 2012 is going to see an EXPLOSION of commuting miles on my behalf. I’m going to start riding in ALL the way from home. Not everday, but I hope at least 2x a week. The other 3 days, I’ll drive in a short distance and then hit the road on the bike from there.
I’m totally hooked.
I’ve come a long way from January of 2009, where on a whim I said to myself, “Hey, why don’t I ride in a short distance?”
Look at me now.