02 January 2008

How to gain an extra week this year:

So New Year has just passed and you’re still thinking about what sort of resolutions you could or should make. Might I suggest gaining an extra week this year? That’s one of my plans anyway. How do you do that you ask… easy I reply, by cycling (Pun not intended, but quite funny none the less).

I like cycling for a whole heap of reasons, which I shall compile into an article shortly, but one reason is believe it or not, because it can be a timesaver. Of course this really does depend on certain factors but you’d be surprised how it all adds up. If you live within the inner city (as many people do) then cycling can often be quicker than driving a car, particularly in peak hour. Back roads are taken and cycle paths used, as well as short cuts through parks and so on, hence it can end up quicker than other forms of transport. Allow me to provide you with an example:

It takes me approximately 20 minutes to ride into Sydney Uni from where I live in the inner west, and it takes a car about 15 minutes. However if it is peak hour then it takes a car much more like 25 minutes. On top of this I believe doing exercise is important to a healthy lifestyle and like to incorporate this in my travel time. So over the course of a day I do a good 30 minutes of exercise (as we should deduct a little time due to waiting at traffic lights and so on) whereas the fellow driving the car does not. Therefore if we both travel in peak hour on working days (as is most likely to be the case) not only do I save 10 minutes a day, but if the car driver also made a commitment to do 30 minutes of exercise a day then I would save 40 more minutes than him a day.

If your like most people and you work a day shift so that you travel around peak hour, we can see that even if the car driver doesn’t exercise, the cyclist still saves close to 10 minutes a day, let’s say 6 and be conservative. Doesn’t sound like a great deal admittedly, but if you add it up over a year it would be. Rather ironically I just discovered that if one saves 6 minutes a day and works 5 days a week for 48 weeks in a year (i.e. minimum holiday leave) then one saves exactly 1440 minutes, which when divided by 60 yields 24! So over a year I’d save a whole day just from the travel time!

Now imagine if I also wanted to do 30 minutes of exercise on top of that? Its exactly six days saved a year! Don’t believe me? Well then, heres the maths:

6 + 30 = 36 (minutes saved per day)

36 X 5 = 180 (minutes saved per week)

180 X 48 = 8640 (minutes saved per year)

8640/60 = 144 (hours saved per year)

144/24 = 6 (days saved per year!)

So why did I entitle this entry how to gain an extra week this year? Am I a lying bastard? Not quite, there’s more. I now want you to consider that like most people you are currently driving a car. Then I want you to think about how much cheaper owning a bike is than a car. Riding a bike means you don’t have to pay more than 500 for a bike, whereas a car is a few grand, a bike has no registration fees, insurance is almost nothing for a bike, you never have to pay parking fines or even buy parking tickets, nor do you have to pay huge amounts for repair costs! All in all a bike is going to save you at least $2000 dollars a year, if not closer to $5000 (Of course I’m talking Australian here but very similar cost savings will apply world wide). Now lets take the uber conservative figure of $2000 and say that the average person earns say $20 an hour. Therefore by saving $2000 you are also saving yourself a hundred hours of work! That adds up to another 4.16 days saved, every year!!! And remember, these are very conservative figures! I will be posting an article on exactly how much I think an average person would save, and will probably refine this whole article concept in a new post at a later date.

All in all we end up saving ourselves 10.16 days simply by riding a bike instead of driving a car! Now you see why I was more than justified in titling this article, “how to gain an extra week this year”! So what are you waiting for? Go save yourself some life!

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