So the ‘1,000-Mile Summer’ officially ends tomorrow (fitting that summer officially ends tomorrow...) But how'd we do? Since June 1st, the total miles ridden on my bike topped out today at 730.6 miles, considerably less than my goal of 1,000, (though I did manage a respectable push on the last day adding an additional 20.7 miles). But even more respectable, the total number of miles DRIVEN during that same time frame: 1,421 miles—(considering 6 day weeks x 11 weeks at 28 miles round trip to work is 1,848 miles right there, plus whatever galavanting I would have done on the other 39 days). And if you include the mass transit miles into my bike mileage total, it surpasses the 1,000-mile mark easily.
But what did I learn from this experiment? First of all, it can be done--you can have a job with crazy hours and travel to and from IN LOS ANGELES by bike and mass transit. I learned its not so scary to ride at night (most areas I rode through were almost as bright as daylight, I always wore my blinky light and often even at 10p or later there were other cyclists on the road. I learned that LA has a vast mass transit system that may be flawed in many ways, but is still often faster than auto travel many days. (and seriously Transit Authority, no one except me is paying to take the subway. You should look into that.) I finally learned out how to get myself a pay-as-you-go bus/rail pass, even if it meant traveling 35 miles to the closest location, only to find out that Culver City government offices were on a work furlough that day. (Thanks to my Culver City-resident pal Dina for loading up my card and then mailing it back to me.) I learned that on days when I rode to work, I was calmer and more positive. I felt stronger top to toe (my shoulders felt way less tense) and I ate like a horse to keep up with all the calories I was consuming. I learned that I’m way more apt to ride to work when there’s a challenge involved, and this was a challenge not even backed up by peer pressure or wagering. Imagine how far I could go with a little financial incentive behind me!