Results of My Bike to Work Week: Tough, Sweaty, and Fun

My Bike to Work Week

Getting my Haro mountain bike ready for the 3.1 mile commute each way.

A few weeks back I rode my bike to work every day.

I told a friend, who thought I worked from home, this fact, and he got a good laugh from it.

Truthfully, I did ride my bike into work (an office downtown), and then some, each day.

It was fun, and tough, and I think worthy of a write-up to share the experience. So here we are.

I didn’t ride my bike to work each day last week because I’m a treehugger or a hippy. I’m not even a hipster, other than in my mind a little.

I’m just a regular guy who decided to take on the challenge. Last week was technically bike to work week, a promotional effort tied in with bike month. That, along with the fact that I need some more exercise, was reason enough to do it.

Biking to Work in Frisco, Texas

Ironically, I live in the most anti of bike-to-work locations: the suburbs of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. As I rode each day I could feel everyone staring at me and imagined them thinking there was something wrong with me. In fact, a friend even saw me on the road and texted me asking if I needed a ride.

Although it seems like this is the road biking and racing capital of the world, there aren’t that many biking commuters. Everything here is so spread out. I try to keep my world small (it helps to keep you sane), but it’s rare that you aren’t driving 15 miles one-way on a weekly basis for something routine.

Most couples here wouldn’t dare attempt a life without two vehicles, much less just relying on bikes or public transportation.

And those who do dare take to the roads here on a bike must deal with more pickup trucks and SUVs on the road per capita than any other place in the world. I mostly stuck to the sidewalks and picked up a good helmet by Wednesday after feeling pretty vulnerable those first two days.

My Commute and Results

I’m thankful that my office is 3.1 miles from my house. That doesn’t sound like a long way, and it wasn’t at first. But by the end of the week, I was slightly dreading the ride.

Probably more so because of my lack of bike shape though. I hadn’t ridden my bike in probably a year and a half before last week’s challenge. But the ride was also tough because there were a couple of really windy and warm days, along with one rainy day.

I’m lucky in that I don’t have clients or coworkers, so it didn’t matter that I would come to the office sweaty and wearing shorts. I stuck it out though and had a lot of fun and got a lot of satisfaction from it in the end.

My bike held up well. It had a little trouble in the 15 to 16 speed range on the derailleur, and the tires started leaking air really badly by the last day. But given that I hadn’t ridden it much lately and it’s twelve years old, I was pleased with how it handled the week. Here’s a breakdown of the mileage I rode:

  • Monday – 11.4 Miles – 1 Hour – Took the long way to and back from work so I could stop by a place to get breakfast and a late lunch.
  • Tuesday – 13.8 Miles – 1 Hour 15 Mins – Straight to and from work, but took an almost 8 mile trip to lunch and back.
  • Wednesday – 15 Miles – 1 Hour 20 Mins – Stopped by breakfast joint on the way to work and went to the bike shop around lunch before returning to the office and then straight home.
  • Thursday – 6.3 Miles – 35 Mins – To and from work.
  • Friday – 9.1 Miles – 50 Mins – To and from work with a swing by my mail box and a lunch spot.

In total, that’s 55.6 miles and 5 hours on the bike.

Fuel savings is minimal, but savings nonetheless. My Accord get’s 23 miles per gallon on average, so I saved myself 2 gallons of gas or roughly $7.50.

The benefits go well beyond simply fuel savings. Biking to work allows you to put less wear and tear on your car, or even do without a second car. Biking to work also has tremendous benefits for your health. It’s a great way to get in shape.

Now that the week is over, I can see myself occasionally riding to work. Maybe once a week. As the Summer heats up though it will be tough to maintain that pace.

More resources from Bike to Work Week 2013:

Have you ever considered biking to work? Did you complete the bike to work challenge this year?



Last Edited: June 5, 2013 @ 11:13 am The content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, financial writer, FinCon CEO, and husband and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. Nice, good job with the biking!  I work about 6 miles away from home and I’m going to try to bike to work one day a week for the entire summer, but the weather will have to cooperate for me to do it.  I agree that the benefits go much beyond the gas savings.  It’s a great excercise and can be quite fun.  Fortunately, Minneapolis is a very friendly biking city with a bunch of bike paths.  I’m only on a road for about half of my trip, the rest is on paths.

  2. my2centopinion says:

    I grew up in McKinney and know how Texas is. Everything is spread out and driving an SUV/Truck is almost a symbol of your devotion to the great state. Texas is oil country and they burn a lot of it. I only live 4 miles away from work and have been thinking about riding my bike because our car is on it’s last leg and I’m trying to stretch it out. Good on you for biking, maybe you can change the culture 🙂

  3. OneSolution says:

    Right before my oldest child was born a couple of years ago I did the bike to work challenge. However my daily ride one way was 12.5 miles on my 1999 Trek MTB! So I did that 4 days a week or 100 miles. Now I have two children under two years old and I choose to spend the extra time necessary to commute at home helping with the kiddos. I know that once this stage passes, I will get back into bike commuting again. It is addictive to ride, in fact I was able to get 41 miles in on Memorial Day. The most I have ridden in a couple of years and it felt so good. Thanks for the post.

  4. I definitely admire that you took on the suburbs in TX on a bike. That’s no small feat!
    I bike to work every day, year-round and love it! I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s much more relaxing than driving, and I’m in much better shape because of it. Of course, it’s much easier for me in Portland!