On 13 August last year I decided to invest in an ebike, almost entirely to use for my 3.5 mile work commute.
One year on, I’ve used it for a total of 145 days (of course I’ve been tracking it on a spreadsheet, you know what a stats geek I am!).
I need to be at the office four days a week, so over this year I could have ridden 4/7 x 365 days, or 209 days. Subtract when I was on leave, this drops to around 160 days. Take off the 15 or so days where the weather has been too wet and ghastly to want to show up to work looking like a kitten who’d fallen in a toilet, and my total is 145 days.
Here are the three major benefits I’ve enjoyed –
1. 145 days of exercise.
The seven mile round trip means 1015 miles in total over the year. Now I know hardcore riders will do that in a week or two, but it’s 1015 miles of consistent cycling I haven’t done since I was in my early 20s.
2. 145 days of not spending the money on fuel to take the car.
Yes, of course there was an initial outlay for the bike (I’m tracking the cost per day on a spreadsheet too), plus the need to charge the battery for a few hours perhaps once a week.
But still, at around £6 a gallon for diesel, my reasonably efficient 40mpg car would have still have guzzled 25 gallons or £150 worth of the stuff in the same time.
3. 145 days of not polluting the atmosphere.
I have a love/hate relationship with my car, loving the freedom it gives in terms of being able to get me (and my family) anywhere but hating the financial commitment, and what a slave we can become to relying on one.
Also, at heart I’m someone who wants to make the minimum negative impact possible in the world, so every time I start the car, I feel guilty at the pollutants it spits into the atmosphere.
Thus, rolling off the drive near silently on my ebike in the morning I feel a whole other level of freedom and good feeling the car can’t give.
So these are the three main pros of commuting for a year by ebike instead of car.
But there’s something deeper, that’s perhaps even more important for me.
It’s shown me again I can redefine what I consider normal, and how that can become a very powerful habit with very little ongoing effort required.
Other examples of this in my life are yoga, which I’ve practised daily, less a handful of sick days, since October 2010, photography, and writing a blog, which I’ve done in some form regularly since around 2004, and in this 35hunter incarnation since December 2015.
Getting up, having a light breakfast, then doing my 20 minutes of yoga is just normal for me.
Writing a blog regularly, almost constantly thinking of new post ideas in my head, and enjoying the community it brings is just normal for me.
Going out once or twice a week making photographs – and in between looking at the last images I made and considering the next – is just normal for me.
Hopping on my ebike to get to work is now also just normal for me.
That which we do most often – our regular habits – define what’s normal.
And, over time, these can become the backbone of your life, and the root of massive progress, achievement and reward.
How about you? What’s normal for you that’s helped you made major progress in a positive direction?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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