Adventures in City Riding

11 June 2011

Since I have had my new bicycle, I have been enjoying riding it all over the city. A few days after I bought it, I went back and bought a speedometer/odometer for it. As of this writing I have logged 97 miles, averaging about 8-10 miles per day of riding; weather permitting of course. I'm not as hardcore as I used to be therefore I won't go riding in bad weather or rain. But I have been riding to work nearly everyday and leaving the truck sit. I have found that it takes me only 5 minutes longer to ride to work than it does to drive the 2.2 miles.

I did some figuring of my driving since March this year. In March I drove 1,620 miles, used 139 gallons of fuel, averaged 13.7mpg and the average cost of fuel was $3.75 and I spent $521 on that fuel. This was what truly compelled me to move into the city and get a bicycle. Then in April, the month I moved into town, on the 15th to be exact, I drove 1,006 miles, used 91 gallons of fuel, averaged 14.4mpg and the average cost of fuel was $4.12 and I spent $375 on that fuel. Although the average cost of fuel was higher, I drove 600 miles less and I cannot figure out where I did all that driving in March. Then in May, things got even better. I drove 1,038 miles, used 85 gallons of fuel, averaged 15.2mpg and the average cost of fuel was $4.23 and I spent $360 on that fuel. So far this month, I've only filled up once and spent $64.01 for 15.391 gallons and I averaged 17.3mpg on the last tank.

Yesterday I had to drive to work and the reason was two-fold. First it was rainy and cold and second I had to bring the bike into the shop for a tune-up. After 80 miles of riding the cables had stretched and needed adjustment. They told me that was normal for a new bike and that now it should last much longer before it needs adjustment again. Thursday, riding around it was getting bad enough where it would jump gears on its own between 3rd, 4th, & 5th and on all 7 gears the de-railer was out of adjustment. So I dropped it off in the morning and picked it up after work and it is much better now.

I took it out this afternoon for a 12.7 mile ride across town. Every time I go out, I try to go down a different street that I hadn't been on before. This helps me learn the side streets better and also gives new scenery to view. The town is only about 2.5 square miles so I must zig-zag all around to get the distance I want without leaving the city limits.

I must say that I am really glad I moved into town and got the bike, I feel so much better being able to get out and ride around, feel the wind in my hair and see the town up close.

Download the pdf version with pictures here.