The Challenge

This week I acquired a brand new car. It is a BMW 1 Series 116d Sport. It is a company car and so I don’t feel the same allegiance to it as I have done with my previous own cars. Perhaps once my wife gives it a name I will grow to love it (our last car, a VW Polo, was imaginatively named ‘Polly’)

Anyway, on the very same day I bought myself a road bike. It is a Carrera Virtuoso. This is my first purchase of a road bike having previously borrowed a family member’s bike to ride around the beautiful (and hilly!) Cotswolds at the weekends. My entry into the weird world of lycra is a fairly recent one, which is why I purchased this particular bike for the relatively low cost of £330. This was more than I had expected to spend, but significantly less than the price tags of most other bikes I have seen. The Carrera Virtuoso had received good reviews by a number of independent websites and generally seemed to be classed as a “good beginners bike”.

Likewise, the car has received positive reviews and could probably be classed as a “beginners BMW”, although I’m not sure this would sell many cars! So, feeling like my two modes of transport are equally matched, I decided to set a challenge – to see whether I can cycle more miles than I drive this year. This is not because I am some sort of environmental evangelist, but more as a way of chronically my cycling adventures and motivating myself to get on the bike.

Fortunately I currently live within walking / cycling distance from work so there is no need to drive. Unfortunately I have given my wife a key for the car and in it’s first week she has driven it 250 miles from Bristol to North Yorkshire to visit family. I anticipate that she will come home soon to cook my dinner and generally look after me, so I am looking at a 500 mile deficit in week one. This is not a good start …

15 thoughts on “The Challenge

  1. walktrotcycle says:

    I stumbled upon your blog and I love the idea of a bike vs car challenge! I live in Montreal and take my bike everywhere (providing there is adequate snow removal), so I love to hear about the cycling experiences of others. Good luck!

  2. Spencer says:

    Excellent Blog – very inspiring and interesting. Found you through Strava – but wish I hadn’t now as you’re making me feel decidedly unfit ! Great work – keep it up. I’ll look out for you as you fly past me one day on one of those local climbs.

    • jerzak80 says:

      After noting that you just destroyed my best time on Queens Road, Nailsea I take it you prefer thrashing it on the flat to slogging it uphill. Good to hear from you and hopefully see you out on the roads …

      • Spencer says:

        My sincere apologies – you are def KOM. According to the Strava it looks like you took a short stop opposite Mizzymead Rd. That’s the only reason I’m in front. To make you feel better look me up on Brockley Coombe – I must have stopped for a breather half way up, and was still rubbish !

  3. doingthemiles.com says:

    Great blog concept. Thanks for following me on my adventure. Just getting ready to cycle 40k to work now. May be a few pauses this ride as it’s has been a couple of weeks. Keep riding and running. Enjoy Doing Your Miles.

      • doingthemiles.com says:

        So a new week, a new year back to work, 300km commute Ks and 4 flats. Not sure what is going wrong with my tyres and tubes this week but unclean roads are proving a problem. On the up side I am quick to change a tube out after this week. In the last 3 years of cycling to work I have had a single flat. Now 4 in a week. One glass cut, I stone cut, One wire slow leak and a patch fail after 50km of riding. I hope tomorrows commute is free of problems.

  4. AndrewGills says:

    I am taking on the “bike v car” challenge in 2014, with a small difference: I ride a motorbike and don’t have a car. I’ve set up a widget on my blog where I can keep a tally (manually) of the kilometers I travel on my motorbike v bicycle. It’s not the full Bike v Car blog focus but a sidebar curiosity. So not only was I inspired to try to reach 5,000 miles on my bicycle by the Bike v Car blog but I am now also taking the Bike v Car challenge 🙂

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