3,100 Miles, 400 Commutes, and 45 Pounds

Year one of bike commuting is complete and the numbers speak for themselves.  I pedaled over 3,100 miles while making over 400 commutes on my bike.  Oh, and I lost 45 pounds.  Well, to be honest I actually lost over 50 pounds but I put back on 6 pounds over the last month.  Something new to work on!  So what does it all mean?  Was it worth the effort, the work, the close calls?  The short answer is yes. The long answer?  Well, keep reading.

I started my journey of bike commuting because I simply did not have time to exercise.  I have a friend in Washington State who has been bike commuting for three years and 20,000 miles so I figured I would give it a try.  Since my commute was only five miles, and I was unsure if I would be able to stick to it, I borrowed a single speed from a friend (Twitter @lmtdslip) and worked to see if the five miles was doable.  Fortunately, my work is very cool and progressive and they offer showers and locker rooms for those who work out in the morning or at lunch.  While the first week was hard and I was soaked by the time i got to work, I found that the trip was attainable.  Further, as I continued to ride I found that the stress relief of riding home after work was a tremendous help.

So I took the plunge and bought a Trek 7.3 FX to use as a daily commuter and began the adventure of full time commuting September 6, 2010.  I don't want to make this a huge posting, but the results speak for themselves I believe.  The biggest being the 45 pounds I lost.

I also reconnected with an old high school friend whom I haven't seen in over 25 years.  Chris (Twitter @cluise) is now in Connecticut and is working on training his son's scout troop on their biking.  I hope to get up to Connecticut soon and perhaps go for a ride with Chris.  It's been too long. 

In addition to the daily commute, my son and I did a 62 mile fundraising ride for the American Diabetes Association, together raising over $2,000 for Diabetes research.

I pedaled over 3,100 miles while trying out Continental Gator Hard Skins and Specialized Nimbus Armadillo's.  I lowered my resting heart rate from 77 to 43 BPM, lowered blood pressure and saved some serious jack.  Because my truck got 15 miles to the gallon I figure I didn't buy 206 gallons of gas (3,100 divided 15).  Using an average of $3.50 per gallon for the course of the past year and that is $721 NOT spent on gas.  Take that big oil!

The down side?  Over the course of the first year the Camino wheels on my Trek 7.3 FX lost 10 spokes.  I finally had them rebuilt with DKSwiss spokes.   I am still holding out hope that Trek will supply me with a new bike for my daily commute, even if only on a test basis.  I love my trek, but other bike shops and companies are asking me to use their products and write about it so I am not sure how long I will be on a Trek.

That said, I do feel a sense of accomplishment over the past year.  Even my co-workers have stopped mocking me, even to the point of asking where is my bike on days I have to drive.  Pretty cool?

So, if you are reading this, I urge you to give it a try.  You doctor will be happy and you will be less stressed (except for the times you almost get hit by a car!).

So, put your helmet on, through your leg over the top tube, and pedal away!  And as always - be safe!
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