Thursday, 14 June 2012

Celebrating one year commuting by bike

Fellow cyclists out there, I announce that this week marks the one year anniversary of me cycling to work! Yes, one fine year ago, back in the days before you were entertained by Bikeyface and when the weather in England was....well, ok, I took to my saddle and started my adventure of cycling to work everyday.

And I want to celebrate my triumph with you all. Over the year, I have battled wind, I have conquered the rain, I have slid around in the snow, I have rang my burger bell at lawless cars and lorries,  I have swiped just one wing mirror and I have stayed upright for all my journeys! I have survived a bee flying into my top, tree rubbish going into my eyes and hail battering my face.

I have watched cyclists nearly run over pedestrians, cars nearly run over cyclists and vans nearly crashing into cars! I have had the pleasure of smelling garden flowers, fresh rain, tasty dinners cooking and the rubbish lorry every Thursday driving in front of me.  My list can go on and on because the sights and experiences are endless.

So, to celebrate this anniversary, I thought I'd share with you some statistics I found out by using the cycle to work calculator. If you are flailing in you commitment to cycle, then fear not because this calculator will have you hopping on your bike faster than you can top up your Oyster card! It summarises the benefits of your personal bicycle commute. For example, here is what I learnt from my calculation of cycling over the last year:
I have cycled 2600 miles and that's not including evening and weekend leisure cycling!
I have saved a total of 5 days of my life compared to the time spent taking public transport to work.
I have burnt a mega 93,500 calories, that's 374 slices of cake!

And finally, I come to one of the main reasons why I like cycle which is to save my pennies of course! No one wants to spend their hard earned salary on overpriced bus and underground fares. So including the cost of the bicycle and maintenance for all those punctures compared to the cost of getting the tube each day, I have saved a grand total of £1116.00. That's nearly 2 months worth of my rent!
All was once rosy on my pink 80's pink machine
BUT, things aren't as rosy as it seems. It appears that my 'trusty' bicycle has marked the year anniversary of commuting with a celebration of it's own... it's throwing in the towel and has asked for redundancy. With every turn of the pedal, there is a squeak and a buckle of the chain. The rides are now double the effort and sometimes I wonder if I will make it to the end of my journey. Oh yes, it's tough times at Help! My Chain Came Off headquarters. At the moment my bicycle is resting in Two Wheels Good bike shop receiving some urgent treatment for what I can only call sprocketitis. My thoughts are with it at this pressing time.
Now suffering a bout of sprocketitis
Now that I have made it to a year cycling everyday, I'd like to double that, and then double that again, and again and again until I can't walk. Thank you to my followers, on the blog and twitter who have given me much needed tips and advice to keep me cycling smoothly over the past year! (yes, I finally bought those puncture resistant tyres and I haven't had a puncture since!)

How many miles do you think you have clocked up since you started cycling regularly? And how much money do you think you have saved?


slow rpm said...

Good for you! With 1116 pounds you can treat yourself to a REALLY nice bike.Pashley perhaps?Brompton?Feather cycles?There's just too much choice.

cheers and happy cycling for another year.


BB said...

Big tick for the puncture proof tyres :-) Congrats on commuting for a year. Unfortunately I have learned not to convert my cycling into slices of cake. I actually try and collect at the bakery!!

Nick said...

Back-of-a-fag-packet sums tell me I've commuted 9,560 miles since I started riding to work. That's enough to get me from Stoke Newington to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, via Moscow, Kazahkstan and Kolkata.

That'd be more exciting than Shoreditch and Battersea...

Don said...

"One year commuting by bike" - and looking fantastic for it, may I say? And I bet the bike shop bill will be a lot less than a garage one!

I'm not sure of the mileage, but my daily cycle commute has saved me approx £20k in fuel/car ownership bills over the last 10 years.

Best wishes,

Mike said...

A couple of years back I worked out I'd cycled around the planet in the prev 10 years (keep up the 2,600 a year and you will do so too) - So I'm a fifth of the way into my second trip around.

Kinda wishing I'd actually done that rather than ping back and forth in London, but hey...

nickdonnelly said...

Well done!

Do make sure you oil it weekly & keep the tyres pumped up - you see so many bikes around town whose owners neglect them (not doing that will lead to further problems)


Marthaamay O_o said...

ooh, this is really good! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

And you may have potentially changed a bike shops' outlook on the female cyclist!

I had to do a spoke operation the other week too.. pot holes!

I'm cycling 2704 miles a year when my year comes around, without weekend included and am saving 4 days a year. And I too am saving a months rent and a half by biking! (£1133)



Dave Krentz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Krentz said...

Congratulations on your one-year anniversary as a bike commuter! Why not have 373 slices of cake to celebrate? You'll still come out ahead :)

(I removed this comment earlier after realizing I'd spelled "slices" incorrectly ... now it's back, and better than ever!)

Pat Morgan said...

That's great! Congratulations!! It's been 7 months that I've became a cyclist!! Almost there!!!

Georgie Ormrod said...

Happy anniversary! :-D
I'm into my third year, but have only got a cyclometer this month - so far 130 miles in June. But alas I dont ride everyday. My work have just moved office again, even further away and there are no shower facilities to clean up after ten miles in the rain, so just the dry days for now.

Amanda O'Dell said...

My year started in September so I'm not quite there yet. But a massive congratulations on the 'upright' bit - I had my first fall on Tuesday and although nothing is seriously damaged I'm back on the bus until my hand is back in action and capable of operating the controls! The bus journey is the biggest incentive ever to get back on though - I can't believe that I used to do that journey every day!! I promised myself a new bike if I made it to Christmas, and it was that newness that contributed to my fall, but I still can't wait to get back on my beautiful road bike. I did though make the same tyre journey as you - the brand new 'puncture resistant' tyres that it came with managed a whole 20 minutes from the shop before abandoning me. They obviously didn't have London streets in mind when they designed those...

Carfree40dad said...

Well I reckon 1800 miles a year at the moment. I think I get bonus points for the hills in Barnet and then double bonus points as there is silch cycle lanes as Barnet is the car drivers friend. (I commute Hatfield to Oakleigh Park and then cycle to Hendon.)

I'm saving £2120 every year, which as I've so far worn a Brompton out every five years means I have a lot left for taxis and the Oyster card when it rains. (Ok so maybe this year will be more like 1600 miles then!)

A large chunk of last years saving went on my I'm 50 so should get a sports car teat which was a Circe Helios tandem. My son (aged 9) and daughter (aged 14) now have a regular job as stokers, as you can see here:

Many congratulations on your first year on two wheels. Long may it continue.



anniebikes said...

My yearly goal is 3000 miles and that's without cycling for 3 months of our snowy, icy winter. Congratulations to you on your blog and transportation anniversary. Just a thought: to put all the bike repairs in perspective, I always look at it as routine maintenance, like with a car, except it's a fraction of the cost. But then again, that's an American view.

Karl McCracken (twitter: @KarlOnSea) said...

That's bloomin' marvelous - well done! Treat yourself to an extra large slice of cake ;-)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic and CONGRATULATIONS!!! Will be looking forward to my year end milestone. As I've only just taken up cycling to work again for the first time on about 16 years.
So people like yourself really inspire us newbies Tito keep going.

A great big WELL DONE! And thanks for sharing :-)

donna42 said...

Congratulations on your 1st anniversary of bike commuting. those really are impressive Stats!

you could buy yourself a great new bike with half of your £1116.00 saving

I have probably done around 2100 + bits of leisure cycling.

In theory I'm saving around £15 per week by cycling to work & not using my car. Unfortunately I like to buy Bicycle Bling too! so I end up spending what I have saved.

wishing you many more happy years of cycle commuting


Zandranna said...

I am a pensioner and therefore do not have to cycle daily to work. My cycling is for shopping and visiting etc., and therefore knock up barely any miles a week. But living in an over 60s complex I see lots of cars sitting outside belonging to the elderly, that never go anywhere.

If I had done as my family kept on insisting and bought a car instead of a trike, it would have cost me a fortune to have it sitting outside doing nothing more times than it would have been taken out.

Alex said...

Congratulations on the year mark!! I didn't used to ride at all, because of the distance to my work. It's a long way. But I got a Montague Bike which has made it possible for me to do a multi-modal commute. I ride the last 5 miles of a 30+ mile commute, and the biggest savings by far has been parking - around $100/month.

Kara said...

This is such an awesome post. Your stats are pretty amazing. I commute by bike in the spring, summer, and fall months. But not always consistently. Might be time to make a real commitment. So thanks for the inspiration.

Happy Anniversary!

Jemma said...

Thanks for all your comments! I wonder collectively how many calories and pennies we have all burned over the last year! Cake for all! :-)

Thomas said...

Congratulations Jemma!

You're an inspiration to all of us.

I've ridden about 1000 miles (I forget it at home sometimes) since I got my bike computer last July.

I ride for the exercise and for leisure and the best decision I've made in a long time was to buy a bike.

I'm losing weight and my stamina has increased beyond belief. I couldn't ride a mile without stopping when I started and I can now ride 20 miles stopping only at traffic lights.

Apart from the fact that its great fun, I'm sure if everyone rode a few miles on a bike each week the NHS would need a lot less money to function.

Keep on riding!

tillie said...

Well done Jemma! I'm especially impressed that you cycled through the winter. You are super badass. Congrats on the Evans magazine overhaul as well - I can't wait to hear about all the changes they make in the next catalogue!! The sprocket issue can only be a testament to your cycling dedication. Keep up the great work!

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