The Other 1%

2010 statistics from the US Census Bureau show that more than 1/2 of 1% of US workers use bicycles as their primary way to get to work.  Says so here.  You can also see the League of American Bicyclists city by city estimates here.  Rounding to the nearest whole percent, I’m calling bicycle commuters the Other 1%.  Are you in the Other 1%?  An exclusive group of which I wish I were a member.

Working from home, I don’t really fit in the category.  When I do move my body for work, I get in a car to drive to the airport and then fly across the country.  That surely doesn’t qualify me for membership.  Even at home, bicycles are not my primary mode of transportation if the measure is miles covered.  A single car trip to visit Lacey’s parents easily eclipses weeks of biking.  If distance is ignored and each trip gets one point, I might pedal more trips than I drive, but I’m not sure even this is true.

My friend tried for a year to track miles traveled in a car and on a bicycle.  His goal was to pedal more miles than drive.  I think he planned to pedal more to right the scale when it tilted in favor of motored miles, or maybe skip optional motored trips as needed.  I never asked him how that turned out.

I just enjoyed tracking my dog’s water intake for two weeks (she averaged a weight appropriate 5.44 cups per day, but had an aberrant high of 8 cups and an aberrant low of 2.875 cups).  Maybe I’d enjoy keeping track of my mileage among my modes of transportation.  May is bike month, so why not then?  Planes will easily “win” if I take a single trip to California (and the odds are good that one or two will happen).  I predict cars will come in second.  Bikes third.  Walking last.  I’ll track public transportation also, but I can’t predict where that will fall on the scale.  At 15 miles each way, two round trips between San Francisco International Airport and Union Square on BART would eclipse my predicted walking distance (generally little more than walking Frida 1.5 miles a day, 30 days a month, for a total of 45 miles a month).

I’ll be shocked if my results interest anyone but me, but maybe it’ll be something close to fun if you keep track of your totals in May and then we compare.  I’ll buy a beer for every participant that covers more non-motorized miles than I.  Only other conditions are (a) bring your paperwork to Mahar’s in early June to collect (I’ll announce the date as we get close) and (b) be over 21 years of age.   You in?  Not local?  Set up your own contest and let me know how it turns out.

Enjoy your day!

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