Monday, January 14, 2008

Crushed crackers

Record-high gas prices and a near-record waistline encouraged me to step up my bike commuting for the New Year. My resolution is to ride to and from work 4 days a week. A couple of weeks into it, here's a report.

It's 7.7 miles each way. 80% of it is on the American Tobacco Trail (at right.) The ride to work often becomes an interval session, the ride home a cruise. Some positives: I don't have a strict dress code at work and there is a safe place inside to park my bike. The negatives: I don't have access to a shower, it's hard to run errands, and my saltine crackers get crushed during the ride in. (Trivia alert: Sunshine Bakery was once owned by the American Tobacco Company, the conglomerate supplied by the railroad that I now use for my commute.) Whenever I start getting tired and sore, I take a look at these numbers:

  1. Round trip by car, my commute takes 45 minutes. The car computer tells me I burn 1 gallon of gas. And the trip? Pretty frustrating.

  2. Round trip by bike, my commute takes 70 minutes. My heart rate monitor tells me I burn 900 calories. And the trip is a blast!

Add it all up and I'm logging an additional 60 miles a week, saving about $15 in fuel, plus I'm getting in some really good interval work. And eating lots of crushed crackers.

1 comment:

fridrix said...

That is a beautiful trail. You should take it easy on the ride in so you don't get sweaty. Then ride hard on the way home to exorcise (exercise?) your workday demons.