I started commuting to and from work by bicycle 9 months ago. I ride a Specialized Sirrus Elite with Jandd Expedition Rack. Add on some fenders, front and rear lights, Jandd commuter bags, and one is good to go. I've ridden over 1,000 kilometers so far. The setup works well. And regular maintenance does keep the bike in good shape.
My daily ride is about 40 km round trip. In fact, here are some statistics over the 9 months.
- Average commute: 20.5 km each way
- Average speed: 4.94 m/s (17.78 kph)
- Average time: 68 minutes, 31 seconds
The worst commute was 82 minutes through the rain, cold, and my own determination. The best commute was 62:43 minutes:seconds in early November of 2013. The variance in timing is due to stop lights and my own drive to push hard. I cross a large number of streets during the commute, and this seems to have a larger effect on total time than my own drive.
What's more remarkable is that the ride to work is mostly downhill, especially down some steep hills. Of course, this means the ride home is mostly uphill, especially up the same steep hills. If I sort by direction, the stats show the difference;
Riding to work: 69:35 (minutes:seconds)
Riding to home: 68:28 (minutes:seconds)
Not what you expected? One can interpret this a few ways:
- I'm more excited to ride home than to work.
- I'm not as awake in the morning as I am in the evening.
- My stomach has only had 45 minutes to process breakfast vs. 5 hours to process lunch.
- I'm full in the morning, but hungry at night.
- I know the ride home is uphill so I push harder.
- I ride during rush hour in the morning, but generally not so at night, perhaps the lights are quicker at night.
- It's dark at night, so I push harder to minimize time on the road.
- I ride during morning rush hour, so there is more bicycle and car traffic with which to contend.
All in all, after 9 months of commuting by bicycle, I'm in great shape. The hills no longer seem like such a mountain (well, ok the last of 4 steep hills is still a struggle). And I really look forward to the ride each way as just quiet time away from the stresses of everything.
Everyone should ride a bike daily. And here's more proof, Active Transportation and Health: Cycling > Walking > Driving.
Originally posted at wiki.lewman.is