Posted by: emilybybike | October 18, 2011

Experiment in Progress

With cooler temperatures and shortening daylight hours – the bike commute is now starting to double for me as commuting/training. I tell myself that while the paths and backpack makes me slower – in the long run – it helps. I hope 🙂 That said – I finally remembered and was prepared enough this morning to start a “going by bike” experiment that I’ve had on my mind for quite some time. And while I can’t exactly call it an experiment, since I’m 90% sure what the results will be – so perhaps we’ll call this a “truthing” exercise. So what is this experiment pray tell? A comparative study between riding to work and driving to work. And yes – while it’s almost a known that on any given day driving is slightly faster, while riding most likely is healthier (burns more calories) I thought I’d do it by the numbers and see just exactly what the differences are. How so? Simple. Today – instead of just jumping on my road bike (the e-bike is still in need of some serious repair) and heading off on my way, I took the extra minute to put on my GPS and heart-rate monitor before I leave. Dorky? Perhaps. But I’m a scientist by training anyway. I let the GPS run from the time I left my apartment in Arlington, until I hit the parking garage at my Silver Spring office. Just a rough look, even before I downloaded all the fancy data, and one-way to work, which ended up being about 13.45 miles took me one hour and 32-seconds. Okay – not a land-speed record by any means, but again, not awful considering some stop-lights, bike-trail traffic and of course carrying a back-pack full of clothes, lunch and other necessities for the day at work.

So the next step – get the total time to and from work, and then tomorrow, when it’s supposed to be rainy and nasty, drive to work, and be a real big dork and wear my heart-rate monitor and put my GPS on my dash-board. Then stay tuned for the results!!



  1. Haha. I had to laugh when I read you’ll wear your heart rate monitor in the car! I suppose it could be useful if you are at all tempted to rage at other drivers. or something.

    I wonder if you’re able to calculate the additional food intake vs. the price of gas for the miles. I always eat more after a good ride like that, but it’s hard to quantify.

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