Friday, December 20, 2019

Biking To Work - Midterm Review

In wrapping up another semester at work, it's a good time to take a look back at the previous months and to take stock of the kind of bike commuting year I'm having. Remember that a teacher's calendar goes from August to June, so the approach of Winter Break means we've reached the half-way point of the school year.

Back in August, I started the year with the same basic goal I usually do: to ride at least 90 days and to reach at least a 50% bike-to-work average for the whole year. In addition, I had set a goal to ride at least 50 days by Christmas, expecting that this would set me up in a good position to make that year-end goal.

So, at this, the half-way point, how am I doing?

Well, as of today, I have ridden 61 days, for an average of 70%. At 28.5 miles per day, that gives me a total of 1738.5 miles. I estimate that this works out to somewhere around 61 gallons of gas that I didn't use, and a savings of maybe $140 - 150 at current gas prices. Now, this compares to my best year (2017) where I had 71 days by Christmas Break, and my worst year (2014) where I only had 35 days at the same point. (I had only managed 61 days for that whole year - so I've matched that  this year in half the time!).

Looking back at my old calendars, I've noticed that every other year where I've managed more than 55 days by Christmas, I finished the school year with over 100 days, so assuming this winter isn't any more terrible than usual, I figure I'm well positioned to achieve something similar by June. We'll just have to see how that works out.

And yes, I keep a stack of my old calendars, kind of like Justice Brett Kavanaugh. ("Nov. 23, rode to work in the snow. Pumped iron. Had some brewskis with PJ and Squee."). I like that I can look back and see what days I rode or didn't, or when we had snow, or what my average was at any point through the year and compare year-to-year, month-to-month, etc..

Oh - for those non-teachers out there who follow the "normal" calendar, I found that from Jan. through December 2019, I rode to work 101 days and had a year-long average of 54%.

Wrapping it up for now, sometimes on my way to work in the morning I'll stop along the way to snap a picture or two. Here are a few from the past few months:

Light fog on an August morning - at the start of a new school year.

Brilliant sunrise, painted clouds, and early November frost.

First big snowfall of the year in mid November gave the trees a white frosting.
That's all for now - happy holidays!


  1. That was a beautiful morning in November!! You were able to stop and enjoy it in a way a lot of us weren't :)

  2. One of the things I enjoy about bike commuting is how it keeps me in touch with the seasons. You showed that very nicely in this post: Early morning August light giving way to autumn dawns, then an early snowfall.