Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gas Free Commuting

In May, I will celebrate my 3 year anniversary of being a bicycle commuter. I started riding back when my doctor said that my cholesterol level was creeping up and that I might need to think about starting on Lipitor soon. I thought to myself "I am not old enough for that!" and decided to solve the issue through exercise. As I can never find time to go to the gym, the only way I can really fit a workout in is to ride my bike to work. I may also be a little bit obsessive-compulsive, so once I started riding, it became pretty much my routine and is now very easy to do.

My typical route to work is 17 miles round-trip and takes me down a greenway and through neighborhoods to the office. I do have a couple of big hills I go over each way but, to tell you the truth, I don't mind the climb up the hills so I can experience the thrill of coming down the hills. I ride when it is hot (106 degrees) and cold (14 degrees with a strong headwind just last week). I ride to work in the daylight and normally ride home in the dark; I did invest about $300 in a headlight for the bike and have, in total, 4 very bright lights in order to stay safe on the roads.

Last August, I started tracking my mileage on a website called Since that time, I have logged nearly 1600 miles. My blood pressure and cholesterol are great and I get a chance to think about how to make our software even better while pedaling. Today, I looked on the website and I am currently ranked 4th in miles this month among the nearly 1700 members. I think that is because it has been cold out but not too cold here in Alabama, especially for someone with as much Michigan blood as I have in me. Here is my souvenir snapshot of the website with my initials; I am sure my initials won't be there as springtime gears up and more people get to ride.

For those of you who can manage it, I highly recommend bicycle commuting even if you can do it only once a week or once a month. You will feel better for it and will help the environment just a little in the process.


John P. said...

Hey Tim,

I'm here at random from the RSS feed. Just wanted to give you a shout-out for cycle-commuting. As an occasional cycle commuter myself (though I've logged, um, *zero* miles so far this year), it's nice to hear about others reaping the benefits of the lifestyle, too. :-)


John P.

Tim Tow said...

Hi John,

It is a great stress reliever as well.. One interesting note is that when gas prices shot to nearly $5/gallon, I saw many people riding. I don't see as many commuters right now.