March 26, 2012

Bike commuting while I still can

It's been a busy month. Between college classes, my temporary duty at the Pentagon, and my impending transfer to Norfolk, I haven't had much time for blogging.

But one thing I have been able to do is bike commute, especially over the last two weeks. 7 out of 10 commutes during those two weeks were bike commutes. I was also able to get a few bike commutes in during the previous weeks. And my schedule enabled me to make a few Friday Coffee Club gatherings with the BikeDC crowd.

This week, however, is my last week at the Pentagon. Which means it's my last week for easy bike commuting.

There have definitely been some advantages to the bike commute. First and foremost, it's exercise (all important to the active duty military member). Second, the cost is practically zero...always a plus with gas prices near $4/gallon and a peak-of-the-peak Metrorail fare of $3.05. Commuting time is comparable to the 9A bus (without having to deal with a 30-minute headway) or the off-peak Metrorail commute (my apartment's Metro shuutle doesn't run off-peak). And I was also able to park the bike closer to the office than both the Metro station and car parking.

Between roadtrips and the Suitland commute, I normally average about 2,000 miles a month on my car. Over this past month, though, I've barely put 300 miles on. While the lack of roadtrips accounts for some of that, at least 500 miles of the difference can be attributed to not using the car for commuting.

One thing I've noticed with my bike commuting is an increase in appetite. Unfortunately, instead of holding my food intake steady, I started eating more. So I haven't really lost any weight.

The overall experience is such that, when I transfer to Norfolk in 2 months, I'm going to look for a place to live that gives me the opportunity to bike into the Navy base. Until then, I have 2 more bike commutes to look forward to this week.