Reached my bike commuting goals for 2017…now what?

bikeshareThe biking in 2017 was good. I met my commuting goals, made time for some fun rides and some good mountain biking too.

My resolution for 2018 will be to spend a little more time riding socially with others. I want to make time for my wife and children, my friends, my fellow trail building volunteers.  I’m coming for you in 2018, thanks for waiting while I wrote my hiking book and outdoors guide (side gig).Let’s get into the 2017 numbers. Overall, I biked 4,580 miles on more than 250 rides. I burned nearly 190,000 calories in the process. Of those:

  • 45 fun and errand rides, 415 miles
  • 19 rides to hikes (for my 60 Hikes book), 786 miles
  • 12 work-related “handle-bar survey” rides, 264 miles

I recorded 56 mountain bike rides (35 were commutes), which amounted to 850 miles. Not all of those were on trails, unfortunately, but when I ride my mountain bike to work, I do cut through unpaved areas and parkland for about 1.5 miles of my commute, which trims about one mile off the distance of my typical 7-mile commute to work. Plus, it is lots more fun.

As for my commute, I logged 175 bike commutes, covered 3,111 miles, spent 230 hours, and burned 132,000 calories. I cut out the gym membership. My office does not charge for parking, so no deck fee in 2017. I estimate that I saved nearly 156 gallons of fuel by not driving my car, which means I get to keep the $306.48 in estimated fuel costs. Using the IRS standard mileage rates, that translates to $1,680.21 in savings, plus less wear-and-tear on my vehicle.


I don’t live on a bus route that would deliver me to work, but I did bike to the bus stop for work meetings approximately 10 times, saving more fuel and money for parking. I really appreciate GRTC and I’m looking forward to the Pulse line. Richmonders need to embrace public transit.

So I built on my success from 2016 by exceeding my goals for 2017, but I don’t plan to set my goals higher. I’ll be lucky if 2018 can match 2017’s success. I biked more than 4,000 (✔), surpassed 150 bike commutes (✔), and biked more than 2,000 miles on those work cummutes (✔). Here is my expectations going into 2017:

My wife has been asking me, will I try to bike more than 4,000 in 2017? It will be tough because my commute is much shorter, but I certainly plan to stick with bike commuting as often as I can. A more realistic goal might be to increase the number of commutes from 115 in 2016 to something closer to the 251 working days scheduled in 2017 (of course, that figure does not take into account vacation days). How about 150? Can’t bike every day…

So I’ll again be aiming for 150 bike commutes but upping the total to 2,500 bike commute miles. My math was a little off in estimating 2,000 for 2017. I’m hoping to add a few more handlebar survey rides for work and start making progress on making Richmond a safer place to walk and ride bicycles, which will lead to healthier and happier lives.

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