The miles keep adding up

Last week was a pretty damn awesome week on the bike.  I managed to commute to and from work and around town four days out of five and ran a boatload of errands to boot.  Let’s review …

Monday was easy.  I biked to work in the morning, then home in the afternoon.  Nothing terribly exciting to report about that.  I did have a pretty full load in my panniers, as I had to pack in my suit for an on-camera interview that morning.  Otherwise, easy peasy.

However, I had been noticing that my car was overheating and its engine was revving when idling, as if to run the fan and cool the motor.  Given that I needed to drive on Thursday, I had to take my car to the shop on Tuesday to make sure it was repaired on time.  So that morning, I loaded up my gear and my bike and drove to Barton’s on Overton Park Drive.  I had to be on campus by 8:30 AM, so I left the house super-early (for me, anyway) at just past 7.  After dropping of my car, I biked to campus.

What made the ride so enjoyable, other than the opportunity to watch the sun rise over Memphis as I headed to work, was that I followed a new route to campus.  From Barton’s I biked through Overton Park, east on Broad St., then south on Tillman to the Greenline.  I rode the Greenline east to High Point Terrace, which I followed south to campus.  It was a really great ride, and faster than I expected: just over 30 minutes.  (I’m sure the two double cappuccinos I had that morning helped.)  After class and a few meetings, I biked home.  Here’s the map:

Screen Shot 2013 02 11 at 10 30 58 PM

The loop at the end was courtesy a trip to the bank.  11.5 miles total.  Whee!

My car was ready that afternoon, so Wednesday morning I biked to Barton’s, stopping at Black Lodge on the way, picked up my car, and drove it home.  Then I biked to campus, had my day at work, and left in the afternoon to run a few errands.

From campus I biked to Poplar Plaza and bought a few things at the soon-to-be-replaced Kroger.  Then I rode to Busters for some vino, even biking on Poplar during rush hour for a spell.  From Busters I headed west to the Memphis Public Library on Poplar, then biked home.  I was going to go to Home Depot, but the hour was growing late and I was hungry.  Once again, here’s the map:

Screen Shot 2013 02 11 at 10 38 19 PM

Another 14.5 miles.  Awesome.

What I enjoyed most about the week was the variation in routes.  Normally I follow pretty much the same route every day.  Sure, I could mix it up, but like a lot of commuters (of the two-wheeled and four-wheeled varieties), I mostly just want to get where I’m going.  Being pushed into new routes was really nice.

Friday was super easy.  I biked to and from Otherlands, my normal Friday routine.  So easy, I didn’t even bother with cycling gear.

Altogether, I logged around 30 miles last week.  That’s roughly two gallons of gas I would have otherwise burned, meaning that I saved … um … how much is gas these days?  I can never remember.

Anyway, more news later this week.  I hope to see you on the road soon.

5 comments

  1. Thad

    Enjoying your posts. Can you believe that you now live in a city where you can bike to work–and didn’t even have to move? Keep up the blogging. Thanks.

    • Doug

      Hi Thad. Thanks for the kind words. I am amazed of the progress toward making Memphis a truly bike-friendly town. The change from just a few years ago is significant. I’m excited for what additional changes are in store, and to see even more people biking around town.

  2. Kermit

    I always take the fastest route to work and take the more scenic ride home. If I can get all my clothes to work on Monday I sometimes ride my mountain bike in so I can go wherever I want. It’s good to vary your commute if you have time. You may even find shorter routes or longer faster routes to where you are going. In the years I’ve been commuting I’ve gotten my commute down from 8.7 miles down to 7.0 miles just by trying new routes.

    • Doug

      Thanks for the comment Kermit. I try to mix up my routes on occasion, if I have time, and will make an effort to do more of that in the future. In particular, I need to spend more time using the bike lanes on Central. Drivers need to see that those lanes are much needed and used.

  3. Trevor

    Hey Doug

    Great blog you have here. I am curious if you have any suggestions for a route from Millington to Midtown… I would love to meet up with the Greenline, but its not necessary. New to the area and wanting to start biking to school.

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