Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Case For Bike Commuting

I just looked at all of my bike stats over the last four months and came up with the following:

Tri Bike: 86.5 hours
Tandem (with kids): 26 hours
Commuter Bike: 19 hours
Total Commuter/Tandem: 45 hours
Total hours: 131.5

About a third of my hours on the bike have been on my commuter bike or commuting places with one or both kids on the tandem. Granted, I'm not usually going the same speed or cadence as I am on my tri bike, but I'm usually pulling a lot more weight (can you say "strength training"???). I think this is the reason that, although my training volume this year has been very low (I've only put in one week with over 10 hours of tri-specific training all summer), I set a bike PR last month at an Olympic distance race. I am hoping this carries through and I have a reasonable bike course at the Black Diamond Half-Iron next week, despite very few long rides under my belt.

All in all, I think this makes a great case for using a bicycle for transportation if you're training (of course, those of you who read my sustainability blog will know that I'm a huge advocate of bike commuting for reasons related to fuel consumption and global warming as well!) but even if you just look at the training aspect of it, using a bicycle for transportation is a great way to get in more hours for very little extra time spent.

For those with longer commutes, like my husband's, it makes even more sense. He's got 11 miles one way, which takes about 25 minutes in the car (with stoplights and such), but only 40 minutes on the bike. So for 15 extra minutes out of his day each way, he gets 40 minutes worth of exercise! Now that's a great deal. For those who aren't able to commit to commuting both ways, another possibility is to drive in with the bike on the car one day and ride home, then ride to work the next day and drive home. I used to do this when I had a longer commute after having my first kid, when I didn't have the time to commute both ways.


hak said...

Good points about bike commuting. I've been waiting for the heat to die down here in Vegas and some time to get the toe cages back on my old road bike. Since I will be fighting heavy traffic for 99% of my commute, I don't want to be clipped into my old Look pedals if I need to bail.

Libor said...

yay for bike commuting. It hurts if ya fall though arrrrg!