Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Check out what a wuss I am

I've spent the past month with my mind on business and investments, and not more important things like frugality and biking. This month was Anti-Automobile April so I've also had my mind on how much I've been driving. I've commuted to work by car every week day. I haven't biked at all. I've walked to the grocery store three times.

Where there's a week day, 6.6 of the car miles are commuting. I drove 202.8 miles this month, of which 146.2 were from my commute. I walked 4.6 miles, not counting walking the dogs. I biked zero miles.

Day Car Walk Comments
1 6.6 1.4 walk to grocery
2 6.6 0
3 6.6 0
4 6.6 0
5 6.6 0
6 0 0
7 0 0
8 6.6 0
9 12.8 1.4 errands, walk to grocery
10 11.6 0 library
11 24.6 0dinner out
12 6.6 0 0
13 14 0 friends house to hang out
14 0 0 0
15 6.6 0 0
16 6.6 0 0
17 6.6 0 0
18 6.6 0 0
19 6.6 0 car pooled with our friends for dinner out
20 0 0 0
21 0 0 0
22 6.6 0 0
23 12.8 0 0
24 6.6 0.4 saved a trip by staying late at work and walking to a local meet-up
25 6.6 0 0
26 6.6 0 0
27 8.2 1.4 friends house to hang out; walk to grocery
28 0 0
29 6.60
30 6.6 0
202.8 4.6 Total

If you've ridden your bike even once this month, you did better than me. I want to draw attention to this for two reasons.

First, showing up is terribly important. To be dramatic: "History is made by those who show up." Showing up is also most of the work (especially for me), and I'd say it's more important than finishing. As soon as I get on my bike, getting to and from work is a breeze. It's fun and I enjoy it. It's deciding to get on my bike as soon as I get out of bed, and then following through, that's the difficult part.

Second, relative status is at least as important as absolute status. I am tied for last place in the category of "distance biked" over the past month, no matter who you compare me with. If you even made one trip to the grocery store on your bike this month, and your friends don't even own a bike, then guess what: you beat their socks off. You are awesome and you should be proud. To reach the top 5%, you must simply kick the ass of the other 95%.  I wish I could find a statistic for average distance biked by an American over any period of time, but I bet it's not too high.

I obviously must change my habits. There are two things blocking me from a frictionless decision-making process of waking up in the morning to getting on my bike and starting off to work. First, I need to get my bike ready, which entails pumping the tires and making sure the handlebar is the right height. Second, I need to track down my bike clothes, work clothes, and a towel and soap (for showering at work); then lay them out before I go to bed at night. That way I can roll out of bed and be ready without thinking.

How did everyone else do on Anti-Automobile April?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Anti-Automobile April

Happy Anti-Automobile April everyone. Mr. Money Mustache didn't punch me in the face for my lack of bike riding, but he may as well have.

The goal of this Anti-Automobile April is merely "to make yourself AWARE of when you are using your car, and when you are not." I'm going to be as public about it as is feasible, since public shaming is a great thing.

Here's my chart so far:
Day Car Walk Comments
1 6.6 1.4 commute, walk to grocery
2 6.6 0 commute
3 6.6 0 commute
4 6.6 0 commute
5 6.6 0 commute
6 0 0
7 0 0
8 6.6 0 commute
9 12.8 1.4 commute + errands, walk to grocery
10 11.6 0 commute + library

The first thing to notice is the lack of a "Bike" column. I don't need one yet because I haven't biked this month yet, or even this year. Yes, this is a problem. Yes, I plan on addressing this problem in April.

My place of business is 6.6 miles from my house. Caveats for the above list include: I take the dogs for walks but I'm not counting that because it's not really a place I'm going or errand I'm running; and I'm only counting traveling in my car and not my girlfriend's car, just because.

That's 64 miles of driving in only ten days. This could be a lot worse if I worked farther away from where I live. It still feels like a lot of driving.

Here's looking forward to kickstarting my biking habit and adding another column to my list.