Still achieved 2018 bike commuting goals, despite obstacles

Riggan family visit to the Virginia Creeper Trail, spring 2018.The year 2018 was another good one for bike rides. Not a record-setter due to a variety of mechanical issues and the reality that rain and snow hampered the early and late months, but I still met my commuting goals and made time for a few fun rides.

My resolution for 2018 was “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 didn’t do well with that. I did get some good family rides in, but very few rides with friends. I’d again love to improve in that portion of my riding efforts. Call me!

As a family, one of our good rides included the Virginia Creeper Trail. I wasn’t able to convince my son to join me on a 74-mile ride from my house to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg by way of the Virginia Capital Trail, but we did get in plenty of long rides in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Let’s get into the 2018 numbers. Overall, I biked 4,582 miles (besting 2017’s 4,576 miles) on more than 245 rides. I burned nearly 176,000 calories in the process. Among those:

  • 60 fun and errand rides, 1,382 miles
  • 2 rides to hikes (for my 60 Hikes book), 44 miles
  • 4 work-related “handle-bar survey” rides, 94 miles

It was a down year for the mountain bike. Mechanical issues, poor timing, and too many snow/rain dates hampered my efforts. I recorded only 31 mountain bike rides (20 commutes), which amounted to 568 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.

As for my commute, I logged 170 bike commutes, covered 2,919 miles (down from 3,111 miles in 2017), spent 230 hours (equaling 2017), and burned 115,941 calories (down from 132,000). I estimate my bike commute saved nearly 146 gallons of fuel by not driving my car, which means I get to keep the $363.42 in estimated fuel costs. Using the IRS standard mileage rates, that translates to $1,590.89 in savings, plus less wear-and-tear on my vehicle.



Even with the improvements and increase in GRTC’s service in Henrico County, 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 six times (avoiding biking/driving approximately 110 miles), which saved money for fuel and parking.

I stayed fairly consistent with 2017, though I had less commutes outside and beyond my office. In 2018, I biked more than 4,000 (✔), surpassed 150 bike commutes (✔), and biked more than 2,000 miles on those work commutes (✔). My bike commute goals going into 2019 will remain the same:

  • 150+ bike commutes
  • 2,500+ bike commute miles

That said, I’d love to get to 5,000 miles for the year after topping 4,500 the past two years. Hope to see more of you out there with me in 2019.

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