2010 New Years Challenge.


(this is what it looked like one of the nights when I was riding home from work. Seriously)

While everyone is making, thinking about, or breaking new years resolutions, I have decided to use my resolution to issue a challenge: Ride your bike to work in 2010.

As you may-or-may-not know, I have been trying to ride my bike to work as much as possible. It's about 7 miles from our house to the Embassy. Luckily, Stockholm has a great network of bike paths, which they even plow in the winter - although lately they have been icy, but that is why Lorena bought me some awesome studded bike snow tires. I have probably averaged 4 days per week, but there have been a lot of weeks where I rode in everyday. Now that I feel like I am properly outfitted (you can see why having the proper warm clothing is important by checking the weather in Stockholm here) I am committed to try and ride in every day this year.

So here is my challenge: See how many days you can ride your bike to work. If you equal or out-ride me to work then I owe you dinner at a place of your choice. (You can either redeem this in Stockholm - which has great food - or when ever I visit where you live. If I never visit where you live, then we will discuss another option!) If you are like a lot of people, your resolution will probably have something to do with exercise, saving money, spending more time with family, etc. This challenge lets you accomplish all of those.

Here are the rules: If you have a job, ride your bike to work. If you live really far from your job, ride part of the way and then use public transportation. Now, if you don't have a job, you can still try and compete: just use your bike instead of the car to go run an errand. If you are a professional biker (and I only know one) then you are not allowed to participate in this challenge. Sorry, but that is too easy if it is your job to ride your bike. You also have to post in the comments section of the blog that you are going to participate (or send me an email to let me know you are in: robcandrian @ gmail.com). As most of the people who will take this will be in the US, just know that you already have an advantage over me, since I get both the US and Swedish holidays off - so even if I rode everyday, and you miss a week or two, you would still win!

I would like to note that this isn't some hippy - liberal, save the planet, global warming type hysteria. But now that we have an awesome son (and a dog), my free time is limited. By riding to work, I'm able to get a short workout without actually using any of my free time (it's actually about five minutes faster for me to ride into work versus taking the bus. Because of traffic, it takes about the same amount of time as driving.) Although I had to buy some weather appropriate bike gear, it still saves a lot of money on not having to pay for gas, parking, car maintenance, etc. Since I don't drink coffee, it definitely helps make sure I am awake by the time I get to work (especially when it is 10 degrees out!)

Advice: If you decide to try, the first week is probably the hardest. Since you do have to think ahead a little bit. For example, I have left a couple suits and pairs of dress shoes at the office, so when I ride in I only have to bring a clean shirt, tie, socks, etc. so I don't have to carry as much stuff. It does help that my ride is short enough that I barely break a sweat, so I can shower at home and then just ride in - and so far, no one has told me that I stink. Although this is Europe, so the chances of me smelling worse then a lot of Europeans is pretty minimal. The other hard time is the first time you have to ride when it is really cold or raining. But just think of it as an adventure.

I have a feeling that no more then two people are going to take me up on this, so I will stop writing!

Happy New Year.

McLove  – (12:21 PM)  

Sounds pretty awesome. I will try to talk Scott into it. Sure looks cold. Good luck!

Mike  – (12:21 PM)  

Rob, last week I came to the conclusion that 2010 needs to include more ride the bike to work days. I'm in. Though, it'll be a long shot for me since I can't ride in every day. My only chance is that my commute is 15 miles each way. I'll have to get you on the miles. This will be a fun challenge! You're such a hippy!

AJ Candrian  – (12:33 PM)  

Does all public transportation count? I don't have a bike.

Rob  – (2:23 PM)  

From Lorena:
Andrea - buy a bike!
Or make Amy and then use hers. She keeps talking about it.

Brittany  – (4:33 PM)  

Umm, Lorena will probably scoff at me but I don't own a bike and don't have much of a desire to get one (sorry, we all have different interests and biking just isn't one of mine). What would I do with James? Knowing my elegance, I would injure both of us on our first ride. But, we did just buy a stroller and I vowe to do more walking as soon as it warms up.

Mrs. Anderson  – (4:54 PM)  

This is exactly what I thought when you brought up your stench - Hilarious!! = "Although this is Europe, so the chances of me smelling worse then a lot of Europeans is pretty minimal."

Scott  – (9:06 PM)  

Ah, had we not moved to Texas, I'd be all over this. It would have been pretty even too! My ride to the Church Office Building was 6.5 miles and had bike paths the whole way too. However, I am still riding a lot although I've come to the conclusion that Houston is the most bike unfriendly city in the world. That's why we're moving to The Woodlands, a master planned community with tons of bike paths etc. I would be in this year if I didn't have to put my life at risk every time I went to work! (Plus it's 18 miles)

Andrea J  – (3:27 PM)  

Spencer rides the long 1+ miles to work everyday. His work pays him extra every month for doing so. They also have a locker room, shower, and iron for his convenience; but if you couldn't ride your bike where we live, then you can't ride a bike.

Amy C  – (4:57 PM)  

If I had a bike I'd take you up on this challenge, and perhaps you'd be owing me dinner.

d  – (1:29 AM)  

Garrett wins so come back and buy us dinner. Garrett already won this challenge last year and we even would ride to church. I don't care that it is a 2010 challenge I want some recompense for his hard work. Fly back now and buy us dinner, I am pregnant/hungry and I haven't met your offspring yet!!!

d  – (1:30 AM)  

Garrett wins so come back and buy us dinner. Garrett already won this challenge last year and we even would ride to church. I don't care that it is a 2010 challenge I want some recompense for his hard work. Fly back now and buy us dinner, I am pregnant/hungry and I haven't met your offspring yet!!!

Taylor Family  – (6:45 PM)  

Rob I was watching the news yesterday and saw a man riding his bike in the snow and he slipped and fell...I have to admit I laughed a little and then thought of you!!! Hopefully you are having better luck!! Sorry to say unless they make a bike with 3 carseats I won't be riding a bike on my errands!!! But James on the other hand will be a bike cop in the summer so we will see how that goes:) Good Luck with your adventures on the bike!!!

bonny with a Y  – (7:58 PM)  

Bruce and I will take on your challenge. It is a noble cause.

Good thing our office is on our property. :)

Bellie  – (4:22 PM)  

I already commute to work, too. Can I still play? Last fall I started graduate school (one course at a time) and thought why can't I ride to work on those days I have class? (Work and class are the same-work at a university) It was a bit odd riding home after 7:30 but fun! I have lights so all safe. Interesting, traffic is different at 6 am and 7 pm.

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