Sunday, June 28, 2009

Three Months of Being Carfree in Missoula

Well... three months have gone by in which I haven't driven a car. There have been times when I have carpooled when necessary, but overall the experience has so far been worthwhile and fullfilling. Missoulian's can thank me and everyone else out there on a bike this summer for making traffic just that much less of a headache.

Week 12 Stats
Miles biked: 61.91
Gallons Saved: 3.87
CO2 Not Emitted: 24.3 Ibs

Month 3 Totals
Miles Biked: 253.26
Gallons Saved: 15.83
CO2 Not Emitted: 397.62 Ibs

3 comments:

Frank Wetzel said...

I just got a bike, how do you track your mileage? and Co2 saved and what not? I would like to post similar stats though I wont be riding to and from work on a bike it would be interesting to have some info on what a bike impacts vs. a car. Do you have a webpage that you recommend?

CarFree Stupidity said...

I wrote a post on this way back in february before I official went carfree.

http://imaginenocars.blogspot.com/2009/02/bike-tech_22.html

Just walk into any of the bike shops or even REI and ask one of the employees about trip computers. There are a lot different products out there that all do the same thing but they all work the same way; little magnet that you place on a spoke of your front wheel and something that you attach to the fork to read the magnets rpms and sending it to a unit that is on the handlebars that displays the data.

There are lots of different websites that will calculate your emissions. I use:

http://www.carbonify.com/carbon-calculator.htm

There are others out there, and each one uses different formulas and different metrics, so its a little hard deciding which ones will give you the outputs you want.

I use another site that is a collection of different conversion formulas to figure out tons and Ibs. I don't have a link for that right now

Mark Kirschner said...

Frank -

I would second the cyclometer (trip computer) for tracking your distance. For the project my wife and I started a year ago, I didn't track CO2 savings because we didn't approach it from an environmental standpoint, although it is important to us.

We started it as a challenge to ourselves to see how much we could reduce our driving. For us, mileage and $$ savings were what we wanted to look at.

Now, we're "just doing it." We don't bother tracking miles, money, or any other metric. We've condigtioned ourselves to not using the car (not having it handy helps!)

My suggestion is to decide what you want to track and set up a spreadsheet to track it. If you need to calculate distances by foot or bus, use a mapping service (I used mapmyride.com) to get those distances. Record them daily and then generate weekly and monthly summaries. If you're making a project out it, even track the project cumulative totals.

You can see what sort of info my wife and I tracked, as another reference, at http://gettinaroundpnw.blogspot.com. Click the Statistics category for all the stats we recorded over the three or so months we actually tracked our stats.

Mark

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