The Tortoise Beats the Hare

The Tortoise

I recently tracked my cycling mileage for the first time in a couple of years as part of the Sacramento Region May is Bike Month Program. Coincidentally, while closing down my Bike Journal account the other day (after not using it for a couple of years), I happened to take a look at my old mileage totals just for kicks; what I found was quite a surprise. If you asked me how my current utilitarian mileage stacks up against my old fitness/recreation mileage, I would have bet anything that I was logging more miles when I was a riding strictly for sport. Not so. To my astonishment, last month I logged nearly 50% more miles than my highest mileage month logged on Bike Journal. As it turns out, a whole bunch of short utilitarian trips can quickly add up to be more miles than a smaller number of longer recreational trips. That’s a pretty cool unintended consequence of reducing one’s car use.

The Hare

5 Responses to “The Tortoise Beats the Hare”

  • Mthylynn says:

    There is an interesting correllary (sp?) here regarding the use of ‘phantom’l power usage in electrical switches, clocks on devices that are not clock, etc. The power usage from those devices can exceed the power usage from ‘bigger’ electrical units, like lights, ovens, etc.

    Funny how that works.

    Keep peddlin’

  • Vik says:

    How much have you been riding your bents Alan?

  • Alan says:

    @Vik

    “How much have you been riding your bents Alan?”

    Not a lot. It’s interesting how, when your riding habits change, different tools are required.

    Last weekend I took the TE on a ride with my wife who was on her Pashley. The mix doesn’t work very well. The difference in speed, height, turning radius, etc., made the ride less enjoyable than it would have been otherwise. I suspect, going forward, most of our recumbent miles will be on our tandem to avoid these incompatibilities.

    Commuting with the LWB is out of the question due to the obvious issues associated with storage. Even a compact SWB would not work for my situation. Also, parking and snaking through some of the tight quarters we ride through for errands, etc. is not great with the LWB bent.

    I still love the bents for long rides in the country on open roads, but for grocery runs, etc., the DFs are working out much better.

    Regards,
    Alan

  • andy parmentier says:

    i DID commute with my unicycle last summer, but running on adrenaline does’nt last forever. sitting in a restaurant, made a mental note: “i’m NOT getting my unicycle up and running UNTIL i get that extrawheel trailer” and RIGHT THEN, a bike with trailer pops into view. and then another.

    -andy

    p.s. although at heart i am a turtle, not a train-i don’t really LIKE trailers! that’s where xtracycles come in-but they would’nt work so well with a TE (TURTLE EXPRESS)

  • Swizz... says:

    [i]As it turns out, a whole bunch of short utilitarian trips can quickly add up to be more miles than a smaller number of longer recreational trips. That’s a pretty cool unintended consequence of reducing one’s car use.[/i]

    Must admit i’ve started jumping on my bike more & more recently for local trips – motivated i’m ashamed to say by the rising fuel prices & striking tanker drivers over here.

    I say ashamed because the journeys i’m now biking are those little errands minus Wendy & kids, on which the car probably never got off choke – journeys I could easily bike, or even walk if in no rush. Hands up in the air, like most i’ve been lazy and shouldn’t really have needed the kick in the wallet to get in the saddle a bit more, but there you go :>/

    Last night, a trip across town to get a bit of shopping during the rush hour was a mighty example i’ll bear in mind before picking up the car keys to do the same trip again. A mile trip with a good quarter mile either way through standing traffic, ‘vehicular’ technique in mind and obeying all the red stop lights, the bike was king without doubt and it was nice to sense a bit of roadspace after weaving through the bottleneck to blow away some cobwebs.

    Above all else it was FUN – and you can’t say that about the same trip in the Civic ;>D

 
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