I joined in on the fun this past Friday with Bike to Work Day and now I’m trying to make it happen more often. But this isn’t about going green or saving the environment for me, it has much more to do with efficiency and enjoying life. My 8.2-mile commute is from Lakeside to Midlothian […]
I joined in on the fun this past Friday with Bike to Work Day and now I’m trying to make it happen more often. But this isn’t about going green or saving the environment for me, it has much more to do with efficiency and enjoying life.
My 8.2-mile commute is from Lakeside to Midlothian Turnpike by way of Lakeside Avenue/Hermitage Road/The Boulevard/Westover Hills Boulevard and Midlothian Turnpike. One right turn from my neighborhood and all those named streets are the same road until I reach Midlothian Turnpike.
I would pass Joseph Bryan Park, the huge homes on Hermitage Road, General A.P. Hill statue at Laburnum, General Stonewall Jackson at Monument Avenue, the crape myrtle and museum lined Boulevard and The Fan and Museum Districts, Columbus statue at Byrd Park, The Carillon, Maymont, the Boulevard Bridge and the James River, and Westover Hills along the way.
I’ve written about this commute before, and now that I’ve done it, I have to say this can work for me in many ways.
By car, my commute on the same route is 8.2 miles, and takes about 25 minutes on the average. By bike, same distance, takes about 45 minutes.
OK, 20 minutes slower. But, that is an incredible time-saver when you factor in the workout, something I rarely have time to do these days.
Money? It costs me $0.70 a day in tolls for two crossings of the Boulevard Bridge, plus I’ll estimate $5 in gas per trip. Commuting by bike, that is $5.70 saved each day.
Now, the real draw to commuting by bike for me is the ability to stop. Being in the flow of traffic with a car, it is tough to impossible to safely stop and admire the view — and there is so much to see on a given day in Richmond. On my commute, I can stop on the Boulevard Bridge and admire the view. Stop at Fountain Lake in Byrd Park, points in the Fan, Museum District, etc. Just pull over and live.
Of course, I’m obligated to dropping off and/or picking up my kids from school, so most days, a bike commute will not work for me. Also, when it rains, I don’t plan to be a puddle-jumper.
I’m about to move from Lakeside to the Tuckahoe neighborhood, and you better bet that I’m going to love mapping my bike commute through Riverside Drive.
- Make sure your bike is in good condition.
- Sort out your best route to work.
- Plan your clothing/freshen-up strategy.
- Carrying your necessities.
- Figure out bike parking.
- Finally, have a backup plan.