Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 - Jubilee Year for the Bike Nazi

Happy New Year!

"We're gonna break out our hats and hooters..." - Steely Dan

Congratulations! If you are reading this, you likely survived 2009.

In an earlier life, I was somewhat connected to cars for my local transportation. Like most folks, I dealt with the expense of buying gas, insurance, maintenance, etc., and also with the blood-pressure inducers like traffic, finding a halfway-close parking spot, etc. (I can actually remember getting excited when I could find a free parking spot within a block or so of the office. Of course, that was only on the days when I prevailed over the Missus, on who got to use the car for the day. We were always a 1-car family.)

It was January, 1986, when I decided I'd had enough. My friend and colleague at the office, Betty, was a dedicated cyclist, and she lived farther away than I did. (Her commute was about 8 miles each way; I figured mine to be about 3 miles.)

When I bought the new bike, the Missus was skeptical. She thought the money could be better spent elsewhere.

But Betty's example, and that new bike, changed everything. (Betty found a job far away, and I haven't seen or heard from her in more than 10 years. But I still think fondly of her and will always credit her for "showing me the way.")

2010 is my 25th anniversary year of being a dedicated transportation cyclist. 130,000+ accumulated miles is pretty good evidence that it wasn't just a passing fad.

I didn't keep track back then, but it's a pretty safe guess that 2010 is also the 50th anniversary of my bike riding. I can still remember the shiny red bike that awaited on that Christmas morning long ago... most likely 1959, when I would've been 6 years old. And my memory is that the training wheels came off about the time the weather was getting nice again... would've been '60. (How time flies when you're having fun!)

Be careful as you celebrate the new year! Let's all ride lots of miles in 2010!


db said...

Happy New Year, everyone.

Scott said...

Because I'm an engineer, I have to convert your miles into useless statistics:

Your 125,000 miles saved 6250 gallons of gas (at 20mpg).

You burned 3,750,000 calories, the equivalent of 130 gallons of Crisco, or 1071 pounds of fat, (or 2 quarts of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby.)

The average gas price from 1986-2009 was $1.50 (According to DOE), saving you $9375 over that time period.

For Global Warming™ devotees, those 6250 gallons of unburned gas prevented 60 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

Since 125k miles is about the life span of the average car, you saved the average price of a new car over that period: $18,400.53.

Sadly, the 6250 gallons is only about 2/3 of the 9000 gallons a tanker truck carries. You'll have to ride another 55,000 miles before you earn your "One less tanker" shirt.

It's good to have a goal! Happy New Year!

Bikeboy said...

Thanks for your further enlightenment, Scott! I'm particularly enthused about the "one less tanker" notion; I better get started!!

(My average MPH has probably dropped 3 since my peak, so it takes a little longer. But perhaps if I ever get to retire, that will leave me more riding time. Of course no more work-commute riding, either. What a concept.)