Per Martin’s request on the Fortressblog, I must admit I have not kept up with my HAMLOG as well as I should have. Indeed, I stopped keeping track of my weight and weighing myself every day like I was doing. And I slowly gained back 20 of the 30 pounds I lost.
Down ten pounds ain’t too bad, but up twenty sucks a fat one (get it? fat one?). So I did something about it. I bought a folding bicycle – a Dahon Boardwalk 1 from Brands Cycle. Thanks for the birthday dough, Mom & Dad. My brother sent me a friggin sweet Wald rear rack for Borf, which now looks absolutely splendid with its flat black steel frame and galvanized steel baskets on the front and back.
Anyway, I got this folding bike and figured the best way to put it to use is to ride eastward to the Dan Ryan Expressway and carpool from there to work with my buddy Kevin. I’ve done it for the past five work days and I’m loving it. Yes I have to get up 20 minutes earlier. Yes I get home a bit later. Yes I no longer have the flexibility of running errands at lunch or on the way home.
What have I gained? Let’s look at the numbers.
Mileage saved on my car: 310 miles
Total distance biked: 40 miles
Fuel saved: 7.2 gallons
Total money saved for me: ~$9 (after splitting fuel cost w/Kevin)
Total money saved for Kevin: ~$14 (in fuel)
I’m going to repeat this again:
I’m asking you for your good and for your nation’s security to take no unnecessary trips, to use carpools or public transportation whenever you can, to park your car one extra day per week, to obey the speed limit, and to set your thermostats to save fuel. Every act of energy conservation like this is more than just common sense — I tell you it is an act of patriotism.
- Jimmy Carter, 15 July 1979
Please read that before you put that stupid flag ribbon magnet on your car. Please don’t be surprised when I take that stupid flag ribbon magnet and put it right over the fuel filler door on your car.
Yep. I’m that guy you’re laughing at, the fat guy on a folding bike. Yes I look like a circus bear while I’m riding it. Yes it will take me a long long time to come close to recoup its cost in fuel savings. Yes soon it will be bitterly cold and I’m still going to try to ride my bike.
I feel far far better since I started. It took over 20 minutes to ride the 3.75 miles from home to the Dan Ryan last Friday. I did it this morning in under 18 minutes. I haven’t smoked since Tuesday night. I’m sleeping better at night and waking up easier in the morning. I’m not getting sleepy during the day at work. It’s truly incredible what a little exercise each day will do for you, especially if you make it part of your normal routine instead of having to make a special trip to the gym to work out, making the workout part of getting to yr job.
Finally, big shoutout to my cousin Christie and my buddy Mañuel for reaffirming my position as a defensive driver, not to mention the State of Illinois who condones my actions as part of their defensive driving curriculum.