Thursday, January 31, 2008

Report: January 14-27

They say it’s too dangerous to do it in the winter. Or it’s too cold! They ask, aren’t you afraid of falling?

It happened today. A nice dusting of snow last night covered up all the icy spots. I barely touched the first icy patch…

…and down I went.

I fell right off my feet.

I was walking.

No injuries.

There’s no way I could do that without thinking of this - “That is an S.U.V; Humans ride in then because they are slowly losing their ability to walk.” – from Over the Hedge: The Movie.

Trips -

MinusCar: 9
Multi-occupant Auto: 14
Single occupant Auto: 9
Destinations: 58

This is two weeks worth of reporting. I took advantage of the extremely cold weather…and I suppose the need to have a reason to not bike…and scheduled The Wife’s car for some maintenance. Four days in two different shops meant The Black Beast became The Family’s primary auto.

That means lots of car miles, and lots of picking up and dropping off.

My Car Miles: 119
My Bike Miles: 31

Here's what I missed out on. 7 miles, -30 windchill. This guy's a Lunatic.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Feeding the Beast

A commenter suggested I include bike related expenses in the context of analyzing my savings from minimizing my car use.


Here’s why.

The MinusCar Project is not about saving money on transportation costs. This, isn’t about that.

I think car use is a waste. A waste of energy. A waste of money. Additionally, I think it’s probably a waste in more ways than I can imagine.

It’s easy for me to show that I’ve diverted between $4,000 and $6,000 over the last three years from the big gaping maw that is the black beast sitting in my driveway.

What if I spent $6,000 more on bicycle related expenses? Does that negate my argument that car use is a waste?


If I spent $6,000 on bicycling I:

Gave $6,000 to a local business owned by my friend The Owner.

Gave $6,000 to the staff (and my friends) at The LBS.

Gave $6,000 to my health.

Gave $6,000 to a hobby.

If I give that to the beast – not so much.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bag It

Today's commute was 20 minutes into a -12 headwind. Some people at work are having a hard time adjusting to my bike commuting.

I noticed Cycling Sasquatch has some nice Home Depot re-usable bags.

For New Year’s The Family again participated in this city’s First Night celebration. The first thing we did was head to the LEEDS certified Museum of Visual Materials to decorate re-usable canvas bags in our own unique style.

The Wife now keeps four bags in the back of her car for her trips to the grocery store. (I use my messenger bag.) The other day the checker, apparently inspired by something she saw on Oprah, asked if we’re going to change our lightbulbs to CFL’s. Done. The checker also told The Wife that they say we’re also supposed to unplug appliances when not in use. Uhh…yeah, we plug that sort of thing into a power strip and turn them off there. I think my biking to work came up too.

It was fun to have already adjusted to all that.

My brother-in-law made the bag I wish I had.

Report: January 7 – 13

Today The Boy 5 began to tell me how to grow a beanstalk. Start with beans. Get mom & dad’s permission and toss them out the window. Then it grows. Thinking I knew a thing or two about beanstalks I asked him about climbing it. He said yes, climb it to get to Canada.

I blame the liberals!

Not a particularly good MinusCar week, but hey…I’m trying. Besides, I made up for it by not going a whole lot of places. Let’s not forget, it’s very January.

Trips -

MinusCar: 3
Multi-occupant Auto: 3
Single occupant Auto: 3
Destinations: 24

One of those multi-occupant trips was KT and DDD and I playing the occasional annual DDD birthday round of disc golf. We uncovered two discs buried in the snow and nearly lost one ourselves. Stomping through the snow at lower Tuthill got pretty tiring. Maybe snowshoes are in order.

We all drove together.

My Car Miles: 34
My Bike Miles: 25

This week I crossed the 5,000 mile mark since the beginning of The MinusCar Project. 5,025 in 31 months = 162 average.

I filled up my car with gas 7 times in 2007.

Drove 1,977 miles compared to 1,917 the year before.

Rode 2,580 miles compared to 3,378 the year before.

Auto service three years prior to MinusCar inception = $210/month.

Auto service since = $86/month.

Fuel three years prior to the MinusCar inception = $135/month.

Fuel since = $143/month.

An increase of 6%.

Average fuel price three years prior to MinusCar inception = $1.54.

Average fuel prices since = $2.49.

An increase of 61%.

It's clear that my lack of demand for fuel is causing quite an increase in prices.

Sorry about that.

Update: after a couple hours of sleep I recognize that I may have a faulty understanding of the law of supply and demand. I'm not a rocket economist. The numbers though - those are correct.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Well, It's Not YouTube...

I keep going back and watching this. I think it's very funny. I think the mysterious zapping death is cheap and easy, but the rest I think is golden. There are echos here about American's and their automobiles that make it relevant to this this blog.

It also relates to BikingBrady and his housecleaning staff.

In The Know: Are We Giving The Robots That Run Our Society Too Much Power?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Report: December 17 – January 6

Nothing here for commentary, but hey, at least my reports are caught up.

Trips -

MinusCar: 14
Multi-occupant Auto: 14
Single occupant Auto: 5
Destinations: 69


My Car Miles: 66
My Bike Miles: 95


This period’s low temperatures:
1/1 | 4 degrees, 21mph wind, -17 windchill
1/2 | -3 degrees, 4mph wind, -12 windchill