Thursday, July 24, 2008

Practical and prudent

I've been doing the bike/bus thing the past few days.  I'm going to continue to do the bike/bus thing for at least the next week.  Also, I loaned my camera out to my camera-less best friend who's going on a road trip. I figure road trip pictures including a few national parks are best captured on a real camera (however POS P&S it is).  A camera-phone just won't do a road trip any justice at all.  Plus, my route isn't changing, nor is the scenery along it. 

The reason for the bike/bus commute (with a daily round trip of 5-6 miles) is simply a matter of finances.  I'm saving up for a plane ticket so that I can go to a geeky convention next month. This should only last a few weeks at most, but I'm without a doubt a nerd more than I am a cyclist.  As such, taking this trip means a lot more to me than whether or not I hit my 5,000 mile goal for the year and/or give you guys a double serving of photos and rants every weekday.

How does a bus save me money?  30 miles on a bike every day burns a lot of Calories.  Calories take food.  Food costs money.  Meanwhile, my company pays for the bus pass.  I barely used it in May and June.  Getting to work and back on my bike is technically a little faster.  It's also much more fun, and healthier.  There are a lot of reasons why I prefer riding the whole way in to work every day.  The fact of the matter is that it's not as inexpensive as multi-moding with the bus when the bus part of the trip is free, and my priorities are shifted until I save up the funds for my plane ticket. 

This move should allow me to literally halve my caloric intake per day, except unlike winter, I'm actually halving my intake.  In addition to that, I'm not getting my daily mocha before work, and I'll be making all of my meals from scratch using inexpensive ingredients.  We'll see how long it takes before I cave to the crave of a big batch of Buffalo Wild Wings or a nice, long group ride.  I'm going to break my coffee shop rule tomorrow night, because I always geek out with my buddies on Fridays at The Dose.

It's worth mentioning that this site was set up so that I could chronicle my bizarre bike-related hijinks, practice frequent narrative-form writing, and maybe inspire others to try a bicycle by virtue of showing that an average, overweight suburban nerd can do it. Being part of a niche bicycle community both in Kansas City and online has been quite rewarding. I've engaged cycling and bike commuting spokespeople both local (Deb Ridgway, Brent Hugh, Mark Thomas and Eric Rogers to barely scratch the surface) and across the country (such as Paul Dorn, the bloggers and my fellow staff writers for I've also seen a lot of other niche segments of bike culture that I was completely unaware of just three years ago. I thought only a few people had ever crossed the US on bike. I didn't know there was a fixie crowd. I hadn't even heard of randonneuring. I couldn't tell you how a Madone differed from a Cross-check. They all looked like "ten-speeds" to me.  

From the start, I wasn't even figuring anyone would find this place. I linked to it in my e-mail signature but never really thought anyone would bother clicking through.  It started as a place where I could go and look over my progress.  As people started reading and commenting, I started taking it a bit more seriously and even posted some tips and product reviews.  I still take it seriously, but I'm sure you'll pardon me for a few weeks while I partake in what will amount to arduous, basic transportation. Call it a mini vacation.  Be sure to check out the great stuff being pumped out by the numerous folks listed to the right in my blogroll.  They're sorted in order of the most recent posting activity.  Not all are bicycle related, but again, I'm more than just a bicyclist and a writer.  I'm a nerd.

Random Tunage:
Kevin Saunderson - Powerbass
Kate Ryan - Only if I (Hiver & Hammer Remix)


Apertome said...

Reading your post it almost sounded like you were stopping the blog altogether, but I know that can't be true.

I hope you have a good break. We'll miss your frequent, excellent posts.

Noah said...

Definitely not stopping. I just need a break, really. Loaning my camera out, feeling strapped for cash to try to make this convention, and the ensuing lack of (interesting) miles to write about makes for a really good excuse to step away from focusing so much on my mode of transportation. I need to step outside all of that for a while.

If you know where to look, you might still find me writing quite a bit, just not about bicycles. And definitely not 10-12 posts per week.

Anonymous said...

I think you probably deserve a little bike break and blog break. Just make sure you don't fall off the face of the earth! I enjoy reading your posts.

Anonymous said...

I found I can save much money by avoiding restaurant meals. I either eat lunch at home or take a sack lunch to cut the cost in half. I don't think skipping the bike would help, but then my ride is much shorter than yours.

Tom said...

biking is not the center of life for sure. but bummer... Your blog is one of the better ones. Thanks for the time in it that youdid. Hopefully you'll find some refreshment and encouragement

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the convention. I've been reading your blog for sometime now and appreciate the advise you've handed out.

As a result, I've been regularly commuting since mid-May.

Anonymous said...

Another new bike commuter here. I'm a 40 year old clydesdale who started bike commuting in the KC area earlier this year.

I've enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to more after your break.

Doug said...

Nicely written Noah. I never felt a part of any community with my bike commuting until I started blogging about my commuting. Then I discovered other people, like you, doing the same thing I've been doing. It has expanded the size of my little biking world. Thank you for writing about what you are doing and putting it out there for others to learn from.

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