I plan to keep a running tally on my Bike to Work (BtW) days as well as general updates on the ride.
Well, today was BtW-1. I dropped the car off at the shop to get new spark plugs and front driver side wheel bearings. Turns out the car also needed break pads, not an inexpensive day.
The bearings have always been a problem. We tried getting them fixed in the past. Based on how everything sounds now, I’m not convinced they were ever fixed before. The car now moves so quietly that I almost think there is something wrong, but actually everything is working perfectly.
So, I had a few choices: 1) I could walk or run home from the garage. The garage is about 3 miles from my house, so not a huge deal, but I should really be at work. 2) I could have my wife and daughter drop me off at work, then sit at the garage for 8 hours (or walk home from the garage), or 3) bike to work.
In late 2013, I set my mind on biking to work for ALL of 2014, but the weather at the beginning of this month nixed those plans. I just didn’t have the cojones to bike in -10degF weather. Today simply forced the issue.
I broke out my dad’s 1974-era Raleigh road bike, put on warm clothing, hopped on and started peddling. Amazingly enough the bike carried me the whole way to work, all 7.5 miles from the car shop to Envinity’s Shop. It took me 40 minutes to make the trip. It’s a 15 to 20 minute drive, so 40 minutes by bike isn’t too bad.
When I was younger, I trusted my night vision and didn’t use any lights. I can remember plenty of nights, biking home from parties down town. I was lit, but the bike wasn’t. I don’t know if my eyes are getting older, if I’m getting more sensible or what, but at dusk, I realized why I need to have my bike LIT up for safety – people in cars simply don’t see people on bikes. Today, I only had my pack and the reflective strip in the picture above. Anyway, to make a viable go at BtW, I will need to make my bike look like a UFO. I’m going to try to stop in to one of the local bike shops on Tuesday to get some lights for the bike.
Total Savings in 2014:
0.76 gallons of gas
$2.66 (gas at $3.499/gallon)