Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bike to Work Statistics

Last week, I mentioned that I've commuted to work via bicycle 31 times. That got me thinking...since I'm keeping track of this anyway, why isn't this in By the Numbers. Well, now it is. I biked to work twice during Bike to Work week, so now I'm up to 33 bike commutes over the past 11 months. (Actually, today will make 34, but I haven't updated through today yet.)

One of the benefits of biking to work is that I can leave my car parked in the driveway. That's good for me, and for the environment. But how much? My commute is already very short to begin with (6.5 miles round trip), so my actual savings - in terms of miles I put on my car and gasoline consumption - are actually quite small. Those 33 bike commutes have equated to a savings of: 214.5 miles driven, and $18.15 in fuel costs. Wait, that's it? $18? That's not even enough to cover one night of curling!

Depending on the price of gas, driving to work only costs me between 40 and 70 cents per day. Even if I biked to work every day (which isn't practical due to weather and other factors), I'd only save $11/month in fuel costs. So much for saving the environment, eh? The actual savings aren't all that much, but it's better than nothing, and I do it for the exercise more than anything else anyway. Buying a house close to work, and buying a fuel efficient / low emissions car - I've done both - are much more effective ways to "reduce my carbon footprint". Nevertheless, By the Numbers will keep a running total of the mileage and fuel cost savings I've accumulated by biking to work.

Amber, on the other hand, has much more to gain from a statistical standpoint by biking to work. Her round trip commute is almost three times as long as mine (18.5 miles by car), so she would save between $1.20 and $2.00 in fuel costs per day, depending on the price of gas. Just last week, by biking to work four times as part of Bike to Work week, she saved $6.25 in fuel costs. For one week, that's not bad.

I should also note that including our test commute the previous weekend, Amber rode 85 miles in a seven-day period. That's more than I've ever done in a one-week span. Long term, Amber's plans are now to bike to work about once a week. Maybe she should start her own Bicycling Trip to Alaska!

1 comment:

amber said...

Alaska shmalaska... how about Nunavut? Shoot, why not Tierra del Fuego?
Oh, or do these hypothetical routes need real roads?
If so, I'll race you to Alaska :)