Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Record Bike Commuting Numbers

Last time I reported on my bike commuting was in December as the Fall semester was wrapping up. At that time I had a bike-to-work average of 75%, the best I'd ever had at the mid-way point in the year. Now that another school year is wrapping up for the Summer, it's time to take another look back.
The bulletin board in my classroom has a running
tally of the days I've ridden to work. Some of my
kids have really gotten enthusiastic as the numbers
have climbed.

When the year began, I had a goal of riding 50% for the year, or about 90 days. Actually, that's been my goal every year since I started doing this on a regular basis, but I fell short of the goal for the past two years. In fact, last year (2014-2015) with its horrible and seemingly endless Winter, I didn't even come close. Up to now, 90 days was my all-time record for bike commuting in one school year.

With the tremendous Fall we had here in NE Ohio, I had an excellent start to the year, but my average always drops during the Winter months, and this past year was no exception. Still, I was able to ride more this Winter than any year previous. I averaged roughly one day per week in January, two days per week in February, and about three days per week in March. All good, but not enough to keep that 75% average from falling.

Still, by the end of February, I was already up to 75 days, and it became a near-certainty that I'd hit my 90 days early, so I decided to raise my goal for the year to 110. That meant I would need to average at least three days per week for the rest of the school year. A cold, wet Spring (we even had snow in April!) made things a little uncertain at times, but this week, the last week of May and the last week of school, I pulled up to work under a golden sunrise with 110 days in the saddle. That works out to an average of 62% for the year.

Arriving at work on my 110th day riding. The sunrise was golden.
Here are some figures for the year:

Days ridden: 110 (62% avg.)
Miles per day: 28.5
Commuting miles for the year: 3135
Fuel saved this year: estimated 111 gallons (based on my car's avg. 28 mpg.)
Best single month: October (17 days, 85%) I only drove my car three times the whole month!
Worst single month: January (5 days, 27%)

Figures for the past four years combined:

Days ridden: 337 (47% avg.)
Total miles: 9604 miles
Fuel saved: est. 343 gallons

If I could just forget that the awful 2014-15 year ever happened (I only managed to ride 61 days that year, or 35%), my overall multi-year average would be about 51%.

At current gasoline prices (about $2.40 per gal), that 343 gallons would work out to more than $820 in savings, but it's actually more than that, since gas prices were typically between $3 - $4 per gallon until this past year.

Some photos from the past couple of months:
Snow in April.
Is it springtime yet?
A foggy morning sunrise in May
My riding companion on a brilliant May morning.
With 110 days riding to work, I may have just set myself a new record that I won't be able to beat for a long time to come.


  1. This has been a pretty cruddy spring, overall. Impressive that you hit your goal!

    Nice shot of the new bike.


    1. yeah - it looked a little iffy there for a while.

  2. Just need to tell you I love what you did with the Expedition.
    Very pretty!
    The classic steel frame touring machines are almost all sweet rides, my favorite everyday bike is an 85 Trek 720, modified for 700C wheels and 9 speed bar end index shifting with powder coated (almost identical to the original blue, of course!) original Blackburn racks.
    I don't think I will ever need another bike unless heaven forbid, I crash it!

    Randy R

    1. Thanks Randy -- the Trek is a super nice bike, too.

  3. Fellow bike riding teacher!!

    In sunny, drought ridden California I have ridden to school 149/165 school days so far this year... by far my most ever

    to be fair, I have a short trip of 2 miles one way.

    Love what you're doing here... keep it up!!


  4. Every day you ride is a good day.

    I love the photos.

    1. Thanks Justine. 111 was where my school year ended. A personal record.