The month-on-month breakdown is as follows:
|January||72 miles (3 times)|
|February||72 miles (3 times)|
|March||134 miles (6 times)|
|April||121 miles (5.5 times)|
|May||132 miles (6 times)|
|July||66 miles (3 times)|
|August||88 miles (4 times)|
|September||154 miles (7 times)|
|October||110 miles (5 times)|
|November||66 miles (3 times)|
Note: My commute is around 11 miles long, but at the start of the year I was doing a 12 mile route that included a half mile stretch on a busy dual carriageway. People told me I was crazy to do it, although I had no problems. That said, I am much happier with the shorter, quieter route on an almost-traffic-free bridleway.
AnalysisApril was a good month; I'm surprised I managed to cycle commute as much as I did, not least because I was on Jury service for nearly 2 weeks, and not cycling into the office during that time.
June was less good. My son had just been born, and I had two weeks of paternity leave where I wasn't commuting at all. In the second half of the month, and into July, I decided that it was more important to be able to get home quickly to support my wife than it was to cycle commute. I kind of feel that's closer to an excuse than a reason, but I'm satisfied with my choice.
I'm surprised that September turned out to be the month with the biggest number of miles. I suspect I had done some arithmetic and realised that unless I got on with it, I wasn't going to make my target of the big 1000.
In December, a combination of annual leave and heavy snowfall meant that I didn't cycle at all; the office was closed for three days because of the snow. I missed it.
Final thoughtsOn balance, I'm well pleased; my target was to complete 1000 miles on the bike. As one friend pointed out, that's the length of the End-to-End of the British Isles, from Land's End to John O'Groats. It's a nice, round number, a satisfying number.
On the other hand, it's a long way from an epic achievement.
In all, I've cycle commuted 47.5 times (the half comes from driving in and cycling home, or vice versa, a pleasant compromise between all-out bike commuting and all-out driving). On average, that's only about once a week, allowing for annual leave and time away from the office. In other words around 20-25% of my annual commuting mileage was on my bike. That's not bad, but it's still a minority; my goal is to cycle commute the majority of the time.
Oh, I could waste time justifying why I didn't cycle more, or I could celebrate the fact that, on average, one day a week, I didn't use my car. One day a week, I was out in the world, under the sky, feeling the wind in my face. One day a week I bookended my working day with exercise; my blood pumping, my legs moving. Travelling at a more gentle pace, I had the time to enjoy sunrises and sunsets. I chased those fleeting moments when everything came together and I was In The Zone, cycling the beautiful cadence.
That's more than I could have said the year before. That's enough, for 2010 at least.
In 2011, my goal is to double the number of times I cycle commute. I'm expecting it to be at least twice the fun.