Cycle more than you drive

When I bought my bicycle last year, I had a couple of goals for the new year. The amount of driving I was doing had gone down dramatically since moving to Tokyo, so it didn’t seem too ambitious to aim for cycling more kilometres than I drive by car.

I also wanted to cycle a weekly total of at least 100 km, a nice round figure. If I achieved that minimum and assuming I would sometimes do more than the minimum, a goal of 6,000 km for the whole year didn’t seem too ambitious. That would be a monthly average of 500 km. As it turned out, my monthly total was only significantly below 500 km in three months of the whole year.

After getting into longer rides (100 km or more) in February, I ended up doing at least one long ride every month except August, including 16 rides over 100 km and 11 of those over 160 km. The longest ride was a 300 km brevet. I am not fast, but I like to start early and to keep going.

While the year is not quite over yet, my total cycling since January comes to 7250 km (excluding any rides under 5 km which I don’t log), while our car this year has clocked up about 4,000 km being driven by my wife and me. About 1/4 of that driving distance was actually due to bicycle races that my son Shintaro competed in.

While cycling more than driving is not a realistic option for everyone, once you get used to it, the bicycle is a viable alternative more often than you might at first think.

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