Monday, October 24, 2011

183rd riding day for 2011

I don't keep track of many personal statistics regarding bike use, such as miles ridden and the like. It's just not that practical for me, as only one of my many bikes has a cycle computer. However, I was curious to examine my riding habits in some quantitative manner, so late last year I decided to record every day that I use a bike to make at least one trip that might have otherwise been made by car.

This past week I logged my 183rd day of riding a bike to displace car use during 2011. The number 183 is significant, because it passes the 50% threshold of the number of days in the year. So, regardless of how many more days I ride between now and the end of the year, I have already ridden a bike to replace a car trip for at least half the days of 2011.

Looking at the chart above, it's noticeable that riding days in January and February are fairly low. What can I say; it was cold. I will note that I did ride on several exceedingly cold days during that period. May was also lower than expected, during which I had a nasty case of bronchitis. July has a dip too, as I was hiking in the mountains for a week. I'll chalk up the lower numbers in September and October to work on my dissertation, during which I've rarely left my house. I expect that October will grow a bit during its final week. I'll likely have an update at the end of the year.

Seeing the chart made me think about the days that I didn't replace car trips with bike trips. Sure, some of those days I drove somewhere or for whatever reason did not have a bike available. However, maybe a third of those days I didn't go anywhere. Perhaps I'll devise more data categories for next year to capture some of these items.

In any case, it's been an interesting exercise, for me at least. If you are interested, you can log your own bicycling days by using my bicycling days counter template at Google Docs.

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