# Bicycle Commuting Calculator

How to save \$2,000 in commuting and parking expense each year.

For the past five or so years, the phrase “transportation and fun (but not exercise*)” has been my standard answer to the question, “Why do you commute to work on your bike”?

After checking out this Kiplinger “bike commuting calculator,”** I’ve decided to add, “to save \$2,000 a year” to the list.

*I’ve found that calling something “exercise” sucks all the joy out of it.

**While their methodology for calculating upkeep and bike depreciation seems accurate, they don’t include the cost of the baseball (or playing) cards you’ll need to motorize the back wheel spokes of your bike. Confused? See: “spokecard” (https://goo.gl/MdLc1y) Gallery of 500+ spoke cards: (https://www.flickr.com/groups/spokecards/)

# Scientists Prove Cyclists Are More Awesome Than Those Who Don’t Bike

Okay. Perhaps that headline is a bit hyperbolic.

Okay. Perhaps that headline is a bit hyperbolic.

However, it does turn out that according to 100% factual news from NPR that Ponce de Leon was looking in the wrong place for the fountain of youth. He should have checked out a bike shop. That way, he would have lived about 400 more years for bicycles to be invented.

Listen to this if you don’t believe me. (Except the article doesn’t mention Ponce de Leon.)

Quote

“What we found in the cyclists was that they had as many of these new T cells just coming out of their thymus as a 20-year-old, which means they should be better protected from all sorts of infections.”

Janet Lord, director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
The University of Birmingham (England)

While it’s a great article, there’s one thing wrong with it:

Reporter Allison Aubrey makes it sound like the word “exercise” and the word “bicycling” are synonyms.

I ride a bike around 2,500 miles a year. (Unless it’s a good year and I ride more.)

Of those 2,500 miles, I ride exactly 0 miles for exercise.

Not even one.

In fact, I only have one rule for bicycling: Never do it for exercise.

For exercise, go to the Y and take a spin class. Maybe throw in a hot yoga session while you’re at it. I once did those two things back-to-back and immediately threw up.

For exercise, maybe you should buy one of those \$2,000 Peolotons and then pay \$40 a month to have some guy whose muscles have muscles make you ride so hard, you immediately throw up. I did that once, also.

That’s exercise.

There are only two reasons to ride a bike.

1. Transportation.
2. Fun.

When you say you are riding for transportation, it makes you sound like you are doing something productive.

You can say things like, “I can get four bags of groceries in my Ortlieb panniers.”

Or, “I can commute to and from Jeni’s ice cream and eat a large cone with two scoops of milk chocolate and salted caramel ice cream.”

Once I tried riding a bike for exercise, but I soon quit because I’m not a fan of exercising…or spandex.

I have not yet found a reason to quit something as fun as riding a bike.

And since I’m not aging, I’ll probably not quit for a long time.

Photo: Some bike-share bicycles in Milan. Note the cobblestones. They aren’t fun to ride on.

# For my Nashville Walking and Biking Friends

Bookmark this on your iPhone so you’ll be a tap away from complaining at all times.

I used to complain about stuff in my head. Then someone on the Nashville Walking & Biking Email Group sent this list out and I tried calling someone up and telling them about the issue. Amazingly, it worked. P.S. Here’s the link to that email group. I’m one of the people who manages it, so contact me if you feel the need to complain about the list. Call these people to complain about everything else.

Report a sidewalk or bike lane maintenance issue

If you encounter a sidewalk or bike lane in need of maintenance, please let Metro Public Works know by calling (615) 862-8750 or filing a report online at https://www.nashville.gov/Public-Works/Forms/Request-Customer-Service.aspx

Report a greenway or trail maintenance issue

Please share greenway maintenance requests with the parks department by calling Metro Parks at (615) 862-8400 or emailing MetroParks@nashville.gov

Report issues with temporarily closed sidewalks and bikeways

Please report any issues with sidewalk and bike lane closures due to construction or special events to the Metro Public Works Permit Office by calling (615) 862-8782 or emailing pwpermits@nashville.gov

Report signs or overgrown vegetation blocking public right of way

Please report any signs or vegetation blocking sidewalks or bike lanes to Metro Public Works know by calling (615) 862-8750 or filing a report online at https://www.nashville.gov/Public-Works/Forms/Request-Customer-Service.aspx

Report an aggressive driver

If you are harassed or endangered by an aggressive driver while walking or biking, please file a report with Metro Nashville Police Department’s Aggressive Driving Unit online at https://www.nashville.gov/Police-Department/Online-Services/Report-Aggressive-Driver.aspx

Report people who park illegally in bike lanes and sidewalks

You can report drivers who are illegally parked on sidewalks and in bike lanes to the Metro Police Department non emergency line at (615) 862-8600 or online at https://www.nashville.gov/Police-Department/Contact-Us.aspx

Request traffic enforcement

If you have concerns about speeding or other traffic violations, you can request an enforcement operation. For more information, visit http://www.nashville.gov/Services/Frequently-Asked-Question-Center/FAQ-Details/ID/198/How-Do-I-Request-Police-Radar-or-Traffic-Enforcement-Near-My-Home

Report Issues with Public Transit

If you have questions or concerns about transit connections, placement of bus stops, or issues around accessibility.

# Happy Bike to Work Day, Nashville | 2016

As the 12 regular readers of this blog know, I try to commute to work by bicycle 2-3 times a week. I do it for recreation, transportation and enjoyment. Obviously, there are many health-related benefits from riding a bike 15 miles round-trip, but I don’t use the “exercise” word when discussing bicycling. Exercising is something I avoid. Riding a bike is something I love.

I’m heading out now for Bike to Work Day. Below is a map where different groups will meet-up for the ride into work.

In 2013, I posted some maps to show my route into work to show my fellow-Nashvillians that there are ways to ride into downtown without getting into traffic. You can find that post here.

I love riding a bike for fun. You should try it. (I and many others are trying to make it safer and easier to ride bikes and walk in Nashville. That day will come.)

(If you don’t see a map below, click here.)

# Yield to The Optical Illusion Planks Painted on The Street

Zebra crossings—the striped crosswalks common on roads around the world—don’t necessarily work very well.

All over Nashville’s “urban core,” there are pedestrian crosswalks with large white stripes painted on the street and a large “Yield” traffic sign displaying an arrow pointing down at the stripes. “STATE LAW,” these signs sream in all caps..

Yet something about that combination of white stripes, “STATE LAW” and the Yield sign makes people who drive cars think they have the right away if a person walking wants to cross the street.

So when I saw these photos and a story on FastCompany.com, I couldn’t help but laugh and think how great it would be to see these appear in Nashville.

Quote:

Zebra crossings—the striped crosswalks common on roads around the world—don’t necessarily work very well. In one Swedish study, drivers stopped for pedestrians only 5% of the time at the crosswalks and rarely slowed down. A city in India is experimenting with another approach: By adding some perspective shading to the stripes, the crosswalk looks a little like a roadblock from a distance.