I haven’t yet developed the terminology necessary to describe my biking goals, but I’m getting there. Â As I was biking home tonight from a meeting downtown, I thought of the phrase “replacement miles.” Â This refers to the miles I spend on my bike that replace miles I would otherwise spend in my car. Â (In addition, this would include miles my wife might spend in her car.) Â From my perspective as a bike commuter, one who does little in the way of recreational cycling, the best miles I accumulate are replacement miles. Â Do I love biking the Greenline? Â Yes. Â Do I love seeing so many other people taking advantage of the Greenline? Â You bet. Â But do the miles I accumulate riding the Greenline mean as much to me as the miles I accumulate biking to work? Â Not at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I celebrate and embrace all types of cycling. Â But I’m most interested in seeing how far I can go in replacing my car with my bike. Â So far I’m doing pretty well: I haven’t driven to school in almost two months, and since early February (when that monster snowstorm hit Memphis, rendering my daily commute non-bikable), I’ve driven my car on exactly one trip where I could have biked. Â Only one. Â Not too shabby, I think.
So today’s commute can best be described as epic. Â In total I accumulated another 18 replacement miles, beginning with my commute from home to campus this morning (3.25 miles, roughly). Â After a few meetings and some papers graded, I left for the aforementioned meeting in downtown Memphis. Â Fifty minutes later, I had racked up another eight miles on my bike. Â I then biked from downtown home, completing my journey with another six or so miles. Here’s a map of my travels.
And here’s a link to a map of my ride, if you’d like a closer look.
Just to the left of the middle of my route is when my path headed to downtown crossed my path going home. Â From home I took Southern to campus, taking a detour on Midway, which I took when I left campus. Â I followed the Chickasaw Gardens route from campus to Midtown, then Harbert to Cleveland to Peabody/Vance downtown. Heading home, I followed Linden to Rozelle to Harbert, then Belvedere, then Central to Cooper to home.
Why was I heading downtown, you might ask? Â Well, I’m not at privy to release that information, but suffice to say that good things are in store for Memphis.