Best Moment: Today I knew it was the final ride so I decided to let it fly a few times. Best part of the whole week was when I was about 1/4 mile from a four way stop sign. There was a car behind me, about 5 or 6 car lengths. It was slightly down hill and the speed limit was 30. So I gunned it and opened up the distance between me and the car. I was through the intersection before the car arrived. That was sweet.
Worst Moment: The worst moment was nothing really...it was when I was sprayed in the face with gravel on the narrow bridge by a dump truck.
Biggest Surprise: Everything about getting to and from is amplified. Every mistake you make or any disorganization you may have is a big deal.
What I saved: If I drove my truck this week, the same distances, I would have saved about $22. That's not a great total, but over the course of a year it's over a thousand bucks. Plus, the maintenance on a bike is significantly cheaper than a big truck.
If I'd driven my motorcycle I would've only saved $6.00
The nuts and bolts of the financial endeavor are this: If it's just about money, you'll be driving. Buying a decent bike and all of the appropriate equipment that go along with it is way more than a year's worth of gasoline. Add to that how expensive proper lighting for a bicycle is, it would probably take 2 years of NO driving to work (for me) to break even.
Exercise: I have gotten some good exercise riding, but for the most part, because of lack of days off or ability to alternate types of workout, I feel that commuting as the only form of cardio would create an enormous plateau. So, people probably aren't riding to work just for the cardio. That said, I'm BEAT BEAT BEAT. That is part from the commute and part from teaching. Like being in a band, you have to get a certain level of conditioning to perform well.
Look at this. I rode more miles last week at much higher intensity and never felt a thing related to fatigue. So, this commuting stuff is way different than training. This week I rode 84 miles. Last week I rode 60 in two days.
Weight Loss: I didn't stop at a restaurant and eat. When I got home I was tired enough that I wasn't interested in going out to eat. My diet was solid, more solid than normal this week, though I did increase my consumption. Yet, my daily baseline caloric need was much greater. So, I am sure I will end up having burned a decent amount of fat.
What I came away with: I really admire people who quietly have the conviction to act on their beliefs. I'm sure that as one continues to commute the learning curve slows and it becomes automatic. But, still, they're forgoing a huge convenience to do so.
Basically, those that commute are saying that the real price of the convenience of driving isn't worth it. Whether or not you agree or believe is irrelevant. I have a new found respect for those that ride bicycles to work daily and use them as their main source of transportation. I'll put up with their stink with a different mind set from now on!
Final thoughts: I enjoyed riding to school but with the heat, it's quite taxing. I still will ride two or three times a week during summer school. During the regular school year I will only have opportunity to ride to work a few times a year because of the schedule I must keep (leaving before dawn and often returning after dark).
And all that said, I could definitely maintain a running schedule and commute on a bike...but I couldn't do any weight lifting with the other two.
So, thank you for all of the comments. It actually made the temptation to NOT ride Thursday morning easier to resist.
Keep smiling and run (or ride) safely!