Archive for July, 2010

Someone said something about driving less?

OK, so it’s been a while since I’ve checked in here on the driving reduction front, and as is usual when you stop cataloging things you want to keep in check, it looks as if I’ve done a pretty losy job of actually keeping things in check. 

My numbers since Feb 12, the last check in date:

Feb. 13 – Mar. 12: 475 miles driven.  Not as good as the previous month, when I clocked just 426, but still a 14% reduction from my average the previous year.

Mar. 13 – Apr. 12: A good month, I drove just 397 miles in this month, which while above my initial hoped for target of 361 miles, was still well ahead of my adjusted target of 428, based on the previous month’s mileage.  It would have seemed as if I were back on track, had the next month not happened…

Apr. 13 – May 12:  In one month, I put 609 miles on the car. Yipes!  At first, I was a little confused as to how in the hell I’d done that, especially since I was out of town for a week riding in the Tour du Rouge.  But then I remembered that as my final tune-up for the Tour, I rode in the Muenster Germanfest Bike Rally.  And since Muenster is about 80 miles away, that added quite a bit of mileage to the tally.  Still, even without that trip, I was sitting at about 440 miles for the month, and I was gone and unable to drive for a quarter of the time, about 100 miles over my original target, and 80 miles over my revised target.  Hopefully June would be better.

May. 13 – June 12: As hoped, things did improve somewhat this month, with a 446 mile total for the month.  While not great from the standpoint of my original plans, it was still a 19% reduction from my average mileage from last year, and a 10% reduction from my average for the previous five months since I first laid out my goal of driving less.

June 13 – July 12: I’m currently sitting at approximately 459 miles (I say approximately because I forgot to look this morning, but I am right aroud this area, I’ll update when I get home).  At first blush (all blushes, really) this is a bit of a step backwards from the previous month.  However, there were extenuating circumstances.  This month I had to make three trips to DFW to pick up or drop off people at the airport, and at 60 miles a pop, that adds up pretty quickly.  Add to that an additional 45 miles for a social engagement that I wasn’t allowed to miss, and we’re sitting at just 234 miles which is well below even my original projected target for the month.  Now, I do have to say that I hate to bring up these extenuating circumstances, because in one sense, they are a bit of an excuse and some portin of them should be factored into my expected mileage, but the fact of life is that living in Dallas/Fort Worth, sometimes you can’t get away from tossing 60+ miles onto the tally in one afternoon, and often those times are impossible to plan for (e.g. two of those airport trips were last minute affairs that were wholly unexpected).

So, whay do I expect for the coming month?  It’s hard to say.  I’m getting much more consistent at riding my bike to and from work, even when I have smaller errands to run.  And larger shopping trips are more consolidated into dense loops.  On the down side, I know I’ll have at least one trip to the airport coming up in the month, and this one cannot be shifted to public transport, but it’s just one trip and can probably be worked into the budget.

Still, things can be made better.  More regular trips to the warehouse stores could be done by bike, which would cut down on the number of larger trips to only those times when I would buy items too large to carry safely on my bike.  And if I get off my behind and get old Blue prepped and ready for travel, I can add more quick trips to the grocery store to the bike total.  I think a big help might be in keeping a daily driving journal so I can better see where all of these miles are going and come up with more specific was to reduce them.  I’ll try to start one today by leaving a pad in the car to record each trip I take, we’ll see how that works out in the coming month.