Friday, July 17, 2009

Pedaling the Daily Grind - A Year of Bike Commuting

It was a year ago today that I, as a "grown-up," rode my bicycle to work and back and set forth sequences of events that have, literally, been life changing.

July 16, 2008, I walked into the Trek Bicycles store at 72nd and Dodge and stated that I wanted a bike to use for commuting. They set me up with a Trek 7300 hybrid bike, and shortly afterward, I added a rack for carrying stuff and fenders for all-weather riding.

The next day I rode the bike, and have ridden a bike to work almost every day since then. Rain or shine, snow and ice. I've had to drive to work less than five times, usually to run an errand that required a car. I also rode the bus on a few days.

A lot of what I've learned about bike commuting can be found in my 2008 year in review post.

Below are some extra stats:
  • Total miles cycled: 3,673
  • Total bike-to-work miles: 2,476
  • Total weight lost: 25 pounds
  • Parking money saved: $750 (low estimate of $3/day)
  • Commuting gas money saved $304 (estimate of $2.75/gal)
  • Total bikes owned: 3 (two complete, one "project bike")
I can't say enough just how awesome it is to be out riding a bike all year long. I've made many new friends with some really cool people. I think Omaha is on the verge of becoming a notable "bike city," and I'm really excited to be a part of the change.

I'm here to demonstrate that if I, an ordinary, almost 40 year old dude of average fitness, can ride a bike to work in Omaha, then you can, too. Get out there and ride, and participate in the various online forums and blogs and be a part of Omaha's cycling culture.


bryan said...

it's only been a year? really? dang ... seems like you've been out there forever. Congrats!

erik said...

your voice is one of the best out there scott, thanks for helping things move in the right direction!

Scott Redd said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I left out the part about how friendly and encouraging the Omaha cycling community is, and you two pipe right up and prove it's true.

(Though I guess Erik is part of the Omaha cycling scene by proxy) :)

RD said...

well done my friend it seems like it was only yesterday when i dropped in on you on field club trail.... see you pedaling

erik said...

haha i grew up in omaha so i'll always be a part of scene.

tell you what though, one could get used to having jitensha studio down the street and riv over the hill.

if you or anybody visit there's plenty a bicycle hanging in the apartment to share for a ride.

Scott Redd said...

Thanks, Rafal. Whenever I see a cyclist leaving the DT when I am, I always wonder if it's you. I don't mind altering my route home one bit when I do spot you. It's always fun to have some company on the commute.

Erik: there's a chance I may be in Oakland in November. I'm not sure yet, but I'll let you know if it looks like it's going to happen.

Mr. Nebraska Outdoor Addict said...

You rock! Thanks for sharing and encouraging. Your blog has a huge impact. Keep up the great work.

Colin said...

Hi Scott,
I've been reading your blog for a long time, nearly since the beginning. I bought a used Nishiki and commuted to school for a semester. I did a web search and found Brady's Nishiki, and found a link here. You've been a big inspiration as you've shown everyone how bicycles can transform your life, not just your commute. I also enjoy your writing style, photos, and videos. It is hard to find quality content on the internet. u no wut i meen?
I am sure you have lots of silent readers like myself, keep it up.
ps - You posted a YouTube video of your commute a while back, and you mentioned a time limit. You may want to check out Vimeo, a superior video hosting website without that short time limit. You will also get constructive comments from your viewers, rather than rude and unintelligible remarks.

Scott Redd said...

Thanks Mr. Addict and Colin for your kind words of encouragement. I like to share what I learn, and I really do hope that some of it might be useful to newcomers. I'm by no means an expert, but what I've found out is that you don't have to be to have fun with cycling. Sure, you'll learn stuff, and there's that great community of cyclists there to help each out out.

Please do come back and comment more. I think we all benefit from the open discussions on the various local bike blogs.