Thursday, June 21, 2007

Lou's Bicycle

When the Burlington snow melted and the bike lanes were once again clear and visible, I decided it was time to try biking to work. I had even stronger motivation when my beloved little car had to go in for some work overnight. It took a little prodding (Ithaca beer), but Dougy reattached the front tire he had for some reason removed while my bike was housed in the guys' garage over the winter, and I was on my way! The rest is history...

There are lots of sites touting the many benefits of biking. Why do I do it? The most immediate benefit I get is improved mood. Biking to work is such a better start to the day than driving. It definitely takes a little more work (packing business clothes to change into, leaving early enough to be changed in time for morning production meetings), but that is more than outweighed by the boost it provides. There's also the smug satisfaction of it all...but I digress!

Second, there's that whole "environmentalist" thing. As you know, I love counting things, so I've kept track of how many miles of driving I've avoided. To date, I have biked 126.5 miles I would have otherwise had to drive. Each mile biked keeps about 3.75lbs of pollutants out of the atmosphere. That means I've avoided 474.38 POUNDS of air pollution.

Third there's the money factor. Gas prices are ridiculous. The less I have to fill up, the better. Originally my goal was to bike at least one day a week, but it's turning into a lot more - I biked every day last week! My new goal is to save an entire tank of gas (about 325mi) over the course of the summer.

Finally, there are the personal health benefits. Ski season kept me in pretty good shape all winter, but playing with puppies every other week is no suitable replacement workout plan. I've improved my commute time from 30min to 15, my slow stretches are less slow, hills offer less resistance, and I weave through traffic like a well-balanced pro (haha, that last one is a lie - but I'm better than I used to be).

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My parents' house is 80 miles away in NH. Supposing I travel at an average 10mph, that's an 8-hour ride. Add water/food/bathroom breaks, that's 9-10 hours. Then I'd have to repeat the trip back the following day. Think I can do it??

GOAL: Bike from my house in Burlington to my parents' house in NH

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