Bicycle versus car challenge

As 2016 came to an end, and thoughts turned to the new year ahead, I made a resolution to attempt to do more mileage by bicycle than car during 2017.

I didn’t really give much thought to the details, I simply calculated that I did and still do a short commute to work by car each week day, and  I cycle most weekends. My plan was to compare my Strava and car mileage January 1, and again at the end of the year.

As soon as the year and thus the challenge began I realised it was much  more complicated than I had initially anticipated and questioned if it was achievable.

What car miles count? What if I’m in someone else’s vehicle, do the miles clocking up need to be logged, would I find myself asking them to take the shortest route, or to drop me off early so not to increase my car stats? What about miles driven during the week for work purposes, would they need to make my cycling challenge harder? Also the Mechanic sometimes drives my car, it wouldn’t be fair if I had to cycle his miles too!

So not wanting to be beaten before I had even started…..I just didn’t start. However now the clocks have changed and the weather is more cycling friendly, I’ve returned to the idea. My wish is to get a little fitter and perhaps in the process reduce my impact on the planet in some small way.  So I will add up the distances I drive each month, the ones I commute, re-consider the lazy ones to the shops that I could walk,  and no doubt fear the ones that take me out of town and further distances, knowing that a lot of pedalling will need to be done to make them up.

Its never too late to start, so I begin with March, and will update each month.


12 thoughts on “Bicycle versus car challenge

  1. Great idea! Although I’m not currently working, I think of all the little trips I make by car that could easily be done walking or cycling, especially because I have the time. Last night while eating in our local pizza place, a friend’s 16-year-old son road his bike 4 miles roundtrip across a major highway to get dinner for his sisters. I thought, if he can do it, why not me?! That way I can burn the calories before eating my slice LOL! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this is a wonderful idea! I totally get your conundrum with measurement but I don’t think you should let numbers get in the way. Perhaps keep track of time spent on the bike/in the car rather than actual mileage. While it’s nice to use Strava to see how many miles you’re cycling, really what I think is more meaningful is, ‘I spent X less hours sitting in the car this year than last year’ and ‘X more hours outside in the sun’.

    Whatever’s more fulfilling – that will be what drives you to crunch the numbers 🙂

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  3. I tried this a couple of years back and soon realised that in order to get “more” mileage on the bike, I was dreaming up longer 10-20 mile routes to the shops rather than the actual 1 mile to get there. I was hung up on miles rather than more time riding and less in the car. Then I got injured and stopped doing it. @rebelgirlrides makes a great point-you could waste a load of time with this. Some car trips are unavoidable esp. if you have kids. If I were to do it again, I would measure it in time spent for each-Strava will measure your riding time so all you need to do is record your driving time.

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    1. Yes, I shouldn’t lose sight of the original aim which is simply to drive less and bike more. This last month, although I did a few more in the car than bike, I still drove less than usual, so that’s positive.


  4. Sadly I live in a city of car addicts who would rather sit in traffic than get from A to B quickly by bike. With all the in-car gadgets and entertainment these days, cars have become extentions of the home.
    I wish I could reach out to those people trapped inside their steel coffins inching along the road as I swoosh by, but I fear it might be to late for them 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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