Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day 5 - tired

Day number 5 has arrived. I have to say that I enjoy riding and commuting.

Very tired and falling asleep as I write...I'll add more tomorrow.

10 miles today.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Clif Bar 2 Mile Challenge

I found out about Clif Bar's 2 Mile Challenge about 6 or 8 months ago. The idea is to use a bike for many of those trips from your home or office that are just 2 miles away. The site goes into more detail, but makes a good point about reducing pollution and getting out on a bike more often.

I use the site to map stores, restaurants and other places like the library. My work commute is around 4 miles so I use the map more as a reference depending on whether I am going from my residence or from work. It's been very helpful.

Clif Bar is also visiting different cities to keep the 2 Mile Challenge ball rolling. Pretty cool stuff. It is amazing the difference we can make by just riding a bike a couple of miles to get lunch or do a little mid-week grocery shopping.

To take the challenge use the link above to visit the site and go through the steps. Have some fun!

Day 4, by the way, and another 8.5 miles.

Day 3

What a day...very hot ride to work. It is the 18th day in a row at above 90 degrees in Denver area - a new record. Make sure to dress right for a commute in very warm (hot) weather.

Today was mostly a late work day...I did, however, strap a lot more to my bike than usual. Along with a full pannier I also strapped a new air mattress on my bike rack. It wasn't the prettiest, but it worked and it doesn't look like I lost anything from the ride.

More tomorrow...

9 miles total the new cyclometer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Novara Buzz V

This is my urban commuter bike. I've added some accessories this file photo does not show...I will put a photo of my bike up soon.

The Buzz series bikes by Novara have been around for a while. I really liked this bike and did a lot of looking around before I decided this would be the best bike for me. I didn't want to spend a lot of money, but I also wanted the most "bang" for my buck. The Buzz V (V because of the use of "V" brakes as opposed to the disk brakes used on the other Buzz models) offers a lot for it's under $500 price tag. I like the chromoly frame because it is tough and makes for a smooth ride on the road and bike paths. The bike is well built...I have no worries hopping curbs and the puncture resistant tires hold up to the occational off-road ventures. This has really been an around-the-town bike. I also really like the simplicity...I rarely worry about my bike when it is locked-up or when I just park it to run inside the store.

The Buzz V does come with the fenders. Despite the fact people told me it rarely rains in Denver the fenders have come in useful when the afternoon thunderstorms roll in.

All in all I really like this bike. I'm glad it's what will get me around for the coming months.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day 2

Still having fun figuring out the name and purpose of this blog. I hope it can become more than just a telling of my days commuting by bike and my love of the Novara Buzz bikes.

The point I hope to eventually get to is promoting bike commuting. It may seem like a small thing, or at least not worth the time or trouble, but the benefits are worth it in my opinion.

Hopefully as I report on my progress as a bike commuter you can see (and so can I) the real benefits and sacrifices (we all have to make some sacrifices in life) of, not just commuting, but living with a bike for transportation.

I think we have become spoiled by cars and inexpensive fuel. There are real alternatives...they may not be for everyone, but if those of us who could really take the challenge to bike commute it would make a difference.

I did the rest of my shopping today after work. Big Lots and the Dollar Store...I can't wait for the Sunflower Farmers' Market to open.

I also purchased a bike computer to more accurately keep track of my miles on the bike.

I figure that I have spent about $400 on the bike and accessories. It cost about $40 to fill up my car every 2 it will take me about 5 months to pay off the bike just with the money I save from not buying gas. I know for some people it is more like $40 per week and would only take half that time.

I know you can't take your kids to the soccer game on a bike, but maybe you can bike to the store once or twice a week. Spend time with your family by biking around the neighborhood instead of watching the tv (if this seems extreme you can record the shows or view them later on-line).

It really doesn't take much...biking will not only save money from fuel, but you can be more healthy because of it.

I will get off my soapbox now.

Over 8 miles today.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 1 without a car

Yesterday I sent my very fuel-efficient car back to Washington State (this leads to a much longer story I may tell in the coming days).
Today I begin life as a commuter without a car. Not bad. A few months ago I purchased a Novara Buzz V from REI ($449 retail). I have already put over 400 miles on it since I purchased it, but now it is my transportation along with public transportation.
In the coming weeks I hope to report on my progress as a bike commuter.
I did some grocery shopping tonight on the bike...I have some panniers (saddle bags) that I used. Took a little bit to fit everything, but it worked out fine (though my bananas were a little bruised).
I'll continue to update the blog as time goes on, but for first day without a car!

4 official miles today