On the assumption that my bike will carry me to and from work tomorrow, New Year’s Eve, I will have logged 174 days of bike commuting in 2012. That marks the fewest days I’ve ridden to work in the last four years, and well off the record 203 days I rode in 2010.
What gives? After all, my situation is as close to ideal as it gets for bike commuting – downhill on the way in, a very casual workplace, and at only 3 urban miles each way, riding to work is nearly as fast as driving.
And if I had any thought of shaving off a few minutes by driving, parking in my building is $310 a month. Hell, I could get a new bike every quarter with what I’m saving on parking alone.
So I’m not missing bike commutes because I woke up and just decided to drive. But other culprits conspire to keep me off my bike. I had 252 work days in 2012, of which I rode 174. Here’s where the missing 78 days went:
- 26 days: Vacation. Wow, it didn’t feel like I took 5+ weeks of vacation, but there it is. Maybe one year I’ll take it all at once so it really FEELS like a vacation.
- 21 days: Family and social events. Lots of after-work stuff this year that necessitated taking the bus, catching a ride or using ZipCar.
- 19 days: Business travel. I’ve yet to figure out an effective way to ride to the airport.
- 5 days: Weather. I missed a solid week in January during the early 2012 “snow-pocalypse.” It’s just too dangerous to commute ride when Capitol Hill’s streets are clogged with snow and ice.
- 4 days: Health. Two sick days + two days where I could face the office but not the prospect of cranking my way home in a decongestant haze.
- 3 days: Mechanical. A couple of these were half days. I’ve found even the simplicity of single speed will succumb to mechanical failure if not properly maintained. Need to get better about that in 2013 . . .
I’d love to cross 200 days again in 2013, but I’d probably have to not go on vacation to make that happen. Something tells me the family would be less than understanding.