Monday, August 16, 2010

500 kilometres

Since April, I have been taking part in the Bicycle NSW Commuter Challenge.  The challenge is to cycle 500 km by December.  I suspect the aim of it is to encourage people who don't already cycle, but I played along because I was curious how long it would take.  Given that I live just under 7 kms from uni by bike path so our daily ride is 13.8 kms, I could hypothetically do this in less than 2 months of just riding to uni.

But, we don't ride five days a week.  Andy and I usually drive in one day a week, most often on Wednesdays to break the week up and keep our legs from getting too tired.  And we try to ensure that we match our errands up with that driving day -- so if we need to go grocery shopping, or stop by the post office, or bring a laptop to uni, we save that errand until we drive.  Of course, some weeks we feel really tired, or it looks really windy outside, or we come up with another reason not to ride in at least 4 times.  We always feel a little guilty, but get over that pretty quickly.

Not at all related to this post, but I don't have any photos that do.  And look how cute!

Last week I finished the Commuter Challenge, ending the week on 524.4 kms.  This took just under 4 months, but included a few weeks that we were away for our wedding and honeymoon, and a few weeks where I took a few days off uni.

I'm going to keep my own commuter challenge going until the end of the year.  My challenge is to ride 500 km in a shorter period of time than the first 500 km took me -- which shouldn't be too hard, but will motivate me.  The target I'm setting for myself is 3 months, so I will be less likely to convince Andy that it's too windy to ride, or that our veganity means our carbon footprint is already low enough.

I realise that serious cyclists would probably complete this challenge in less than a month, but let's face it -- I'm not a serious cyclist, and I probably never will be.  I like my bike for transport, but I don't go on long rides for fun.  But, given the health and environmental benefits, not to mention the cost savings, I'm happy to keep motivating myself to ride.

7 comments:

Hannah said...

Massively admirable, Theresa. I live too far from uni to ride my bike there (well, I guess hardcore people would get up super early and make it work but, erm, I have a bung toe.... yep, that's the only reason I'm not doing it :P)

I try to bus into uni as much as possible, but Wednesdays are often my driving day too - my tutorial doesn't finish until 6pm, and I don't like the idea of getting home over an hour after than because of bussing...

Ramble aside, good luck with your next commuter challenge! :)

Dee said...

I don't live far enough from uni, so I must go to the dam "on my way to work" from Mundingburra in order to get a decent ride in. Well done to you for celebrating the completion of one challenge with the start of a harder one!!

And the cat shot is exactly illustrative of how hard it is to get going some mornings, as well as very cute.

Mandee said...

Congratulations on riding 500km! I think it is fantastic and wish I lived closer to work so that I could walk/cycle as well, it would be great.

And I am sure you can do 500 in 3 months :)

Bianca said...

I wish I had the balls to ride a bike in Memphis. But we don't have bike lanes here and car people are crazy! I would be so afraid of being hit.

textual bulldog said...

This is really cool. It's so easy to say, "oh, I'm just going to drive this once..." that I think having a project like this, a goal to hit, would really help. But I love projects and goals, so. Anyway, congrats on your first 500k, and best of luck on your second!

Vaala ◪ said...

That's quite a cool idea. And I'm impressed with how quickly you managed to do it.

I should probably try commuting to work with my bike sometimes but the problem is I always see riding or running as training so it's hard to do it just as a commuter! Isn't that pathetic?!

Groover said...

I guess Nacho wouldn't feel guilty about anything, ever! LOL Soooo cuuuute. Well done on your cycling challenge and good luck with your next. I know you can do it!