Wednesday, March 28, 2012

biking experiment

Yesterday, Joel and I started an experiment with trying to bike as much as possible instead of driving in town. We're trying to be more intentional about biking (or walking) to places that the only reason we would drive is for convenience. (Pictures are of the bike I have a a Burley double trailer similar to the one we have.)

Ground Rules of this Experiment:

  • Keep track of the miles we bike this month, then figure out how many gallons of gas and how much money we saved at the end of a month by using the average MPG our car gets...which is a sad 20 or so.
  • Keep track of how many miles we drive the car this month, and therefore how many gallons of gas we use and how much we spend on gas.
  • When can we drive? 
    • When we're carpooling (e.g., when I have my niece as well as my two kids and I have to drop them all off at different locations and pick them up within too short of a timespan to walk, since I don't have a bike set-up for three kids). 
    • When it's snowing. That shouldn't be a problem in Oregon at this time of year...but it snowed more last week than it had the whole rest of the winter, so you never know!
    • For work--Joel has a couple work-related trips, which won't count toward our total.
    • We'll keep track of these as ones that were necessary to drive, but don't count against us.
  • Keep each other accountable. By starting this experiment specifically, we're in this together!
  • Hopefully this will also make it a lot easier to figure out who gets the car!

We started yesterday, and we did pretty well at first: Joel biked his commute (2.4 miles); I biked the kids over to a babysitter and to my office and back to the babysitter (7 miles). Then Joel and I decided to use a gift card we had to see a movie in another town, so there went that day (33.6 miles)! Gas saved: not quite 1/2 gallon, money saved: around $2. Gas spent: a little over 1.5 gallons, money spent: about $6. Of course, there's also the added benefit of fresh air and exercise, so we saved in that department!

So who wants to join us on this experiment? We can make it a competition! Start today, if you'd like, and go for a month, and let me know how you do after one month.

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