Friday, March 28, 2008

Two-wheeled Timesaver

I've been riding my hybrid (commuter) bike to and from Trader Joe's for smaller grocery trips for about a year now. The route I take is 2.5 miles, round trip. I have a basket mounted to the front post/handlebars which holds a TJ's shopping bag (reusable) snugly on the the ride home. It takes about 35 mins, including the shopping. When I'm on my road bike, groceries in backpack, about 30 mins.

I didn't think I could make a car trip much faster, so I've been testing. Using the slightly longer route I take in the car, I've been timing the last few trips. I limited myself to the one shopping bag of goods when in the truck, just so I didn't throw the time off by spending more time perusing the aisles of goodies. As of today's trip, I have three to five trips of each transport, so here's the round-up:

3 miles, 1 bag (or backpack) of groceries.
Hybrid: 33-37 mins.*
Road: 30-35 mins.
Truck: 35-42 mins.*
*Longest trip times were Saturdays, when traffic was great, but store/parking lot was packed.

That's right. Taking the truck is slower than bike. It's not the time on the road, since the car is faster than my pedaling. I don't do anything crazy at intersections, either. I wait at the red lights, just like everyone else.

The time saved is the time I do NOT spend engaged in the parking lot shuffle. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods both have the typical congestion you'd find at any strip mall. Especially around lunch. On the bike, straight down the aisle, hop off at the sidewalk, walk the bike over to the cart return and chain. Takes a minute or two.
Same thing when I'm on the way home.

I'm really glad to know this. No more excuses about not having time to exercise.

Wait. I just took away my last excuse.

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