Friday, 6 September 2013

a falling leaf reminds me to check the orange bike

London Bike Scheme
According to the Garmin I've cycled around 4,134 miles so far this year. Last year my target for the year was 3k and the prior year it was 1,600, so I guess I'm doing okay. I still have a weekly target of 40 miles, which I suppose I'm regularly exceeding.

I looked at the July 2013 National Travel Statistics for comparison.

It says the average number of bicycle miles in Britain is 53 miles per year.
UK Journey types

From the report: "In 2012, only 2% of all trips were made by bicycle. There has been a small drop in the number of bicycle trips per person per year from 18 trips in 1995/97 to 16 trips in 2012.

However, in terms of distance travelled, the average number of bicycle miles has increased by 23% from 43 miles in 1995/97 to 53 miles in 2012 – the highest level recorded over this time period.

The decrease in the average number of bicycle trips and the corresponding increase in the average number of bicycle miles has resulted in the average bicycle trip length increasing from 2.3 miles in 1995/97 to 3.2 miles in 2012.

The average distance travelled by bicycle by London residents has increased by 63% since 1995/97; nearly three times the national percentage increase.

People who recorded at least one bicycle trip in their travel diary made 6 trips per week by bicycle in 2012, spent over two hours cycling and covered 20 miles."

I'm not really sure what to make of these published 2013 official statistics. I guess it's the averaging that can make the numbers seem strange. The total mileage of 6.6k miles for all travel seems very low, when the average car does circa 8k miles per year, for example. Same with cycling, the number of folk who cycle is clearly increasing - check out London roads in the rush hour, yet the stats show a decline. I'll just be mystified about these numbers.

I've also noticed a few leaves on the ground. One stuck to my shoe yesterday. Its a signal that now is (gulp) about the right time to examine the bike I'll use in Winter. It'll be heavier because of lights and mudguards and I'd rather be doing those kind of pre-flight checkups in warm weather and outdoors instead of shivering away in the dark.

The orange bike is already in fairly good shape for such expeditions, but I'm looking at my old silver bike with a view to winterising it again. It has all of the little eyelets to fix a rack and so on but is currently in need of overall TLC (Tender loving care).

More of that later.

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