This was my first summer as a commuting cyclist. While I wish I rode more, in retrospect, it wasn’t bad for a first year. In the 4 months of May, June, July, and August I rode to work 24 times (just under 15 miles each way), slightly longer than the typical month of work. Most of this riding came in spurts in May and August where I rode 3 or 4 days per week for several weeks at a time. I also rode to New York City two times, once beginning my ride in Hillsborough, and the other time starting in Plainfield finishing in East Flatbush after a stop at Coney Island.
Growing up riding my bike everywhere around town, I always knew how much I liked it as an activity, but I never realized how empowering it is to go such far distances on your own manpower. In addition, my work commutes alone, only one work-month worth, saved 720 miles of driving, reducing my carbon footprint. Overall I rode 860 miles. Not coincidentally, these bike rides along with home workouts put me in the best shape of my life. By the end of the summer I was averaging 16.5 mph over these nearly 15 miles to Hillsborough, meaning that my 53-54 minute bicycle commute was hardly 20 minutes longer than my commute by car.
A car does make living in Plainfield a lot easier, but we often don’t realize how many trips can be completed on foot or, for greater time efficiency, on a bike – grocery shopping, visiting local friends, to work, etc. The biking season is long in our climate – mid April through Mid October. Next year, I hope to commute a full 1/2 of days during these 6 months.
While the impending rigors of running in a Board of Education election are ending my commuting season early, you can expect to see me zipping westward down West 8th street next year. I hope to see more of you doing the same.
At last weekend’s PMUA Environmental Fair, I bumped into the Central Jersey Bicycle Club, which I didn’t even know existed. Visit their website here.