A look back at 2011 and forward to 2012

A very good year! I posted on Facebook that I did get my LEAF in December. Absolutely love the car! It is so much fun to drive. I'll post more about it soon.

I just wanted to update my cycling totals for the year:

  • Count:149 Activities
  • Distance:6,508.50 km
  • Avg Distance:43.68 km
  • Time:225:44:13 h:m:s
  • Avg Time:1:30:54 h:m:s
  • Elevation Gain:17,531 m
  • Avg Speed:28.8 km/h
  • Avg HR:149 bpm
  • Avg Bike Cadence:86 rpm
  • Max Bike Cadence:238 rpm (obviously screwed up this somehow)
  • Calories:
  • 138,611 C

 

So exceeded my goal of 6,000 by a little bit. I actually did more mileage on the bike than in my cars (about 5,500 km)! Of course now I have to set a goal for 2012. I'm going to stretch it a little and go for 7,500 km. I think it's certainly doable if I start work earlier every day (7:30) so I can finish at 4:30. This should allow me to do 50 km a day and still be home early enough to get Peanut out for a walk at a reasonable time. I'm so looking forward to riding outdoors now that I'm counting the days to when I can start. We've received less snow this year so maybe I'll be able to start sooner than last year (March 30th).

I also have a new Cervelo frame this year so it's even more incentive:

 

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Nissan Leaf

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Yes, I've ordered one. I hope to get it by Christmas. The question I get most when I tell people is why? The answer is complicated but I'll try to answer.

I'm actually an ideal candidate for an electric car. My commute is less than 20 km per day and I take trips outside the city by car very rarely (about once a year on average). For those trips I can easily borrow or rent a car. I can travel anywhere within Ottawa and return home very easily on a "tank" of electricity. That doesn't answer "why me" though.

I just love the idea of never (well almost never) having to buy gas again. My current car takes high octane gas which has gotten considerably more expensive in the last few years. I think no one would argue that the cost of gas will continue to increase. Also, gas is a finite resource so we are going to run out at some point. How quickly that happens is a matter of debate but to me that's unimportant. I want alternatives to be available for everyone as soon as possible.

Whether the gas we buy comes from tar sands in Alberta or an oil field in the middle east there are "issues" that result. Environmental problems and political unrest will not get any better as the price of gas goes up and the supply of the oil goes down.

What can I do to help ensure that alternatives to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles will be available sooner rather than later? I think by buying a Leaf I'm doing a small part to ensure that alternatives to ICE vehicles will continue to be available to everyone and that the cost of them will continue to reduce as the demand grows.

Nissan also is proud to point out that the Leaf produces zero emissions - there is no tailpipe. To me this is less of an issue but that's probably because smog is certainly not a problem in Ottawa. That said, it is a problem globally and again, every little bit helps.

More important to me is that the Leaf requires no oil changes and the scheduled maintenance will be significantly less than that of any ICE vehicle.

Some people have said "but isn't the price of electricity going up?" Yes it is, but the Leaf (and all electric vehicles) are so much more efficient than all ICE vehicles that the cost per km is in the area of one tenth of the cost for an ICE. The total cost to operate the Leaf will likely not offset the purchase price difference between the Leaf and a comparative vehicle FOR ME. The reason is because I do so little milage. I encourage everyone to do that calculation for yourself. You may be in for a pleasant surprise.

Others have asked why not a hybrid? I think hybrids are really just a stepping stone that will only be around for a short time until the public charging infrastructure grows to be plentiful. In my case I expect to make five to ten trips (once a year) in a rental/borrowed car before I will be able to drive to Montreal and stop halfway for 30 minutes to "fill up." I really don't need to carry around an engine in a Volt or plug-in Prius for example for the 99% of the trips where I can charge at home the night before.

It's for all these reasons and more that I am buying a Leaf.

5000 (More or less)

This is from the beginning of 2011 so some of it was indoors on my trainer or rollers. I think going forward I will set a goal for all of 2012. Unless I can think of a way to easily keep track in Garmin Connect of the type of rides.

  • Count: 116 Activities
  • Distance: 5,169.62 km
  • Avg Distance: 44.57 km
  • Time: 179:14:08 h:m:s
  • Avg Time: 01:32:42 h:m:s
  • Elevation Gain: 14,165 m
  • Avg Speed: 28.8 km/h
  • Avg HR: 147 bpm
  • Avg Bike Cadence: 86 rpm
  • Max Bike Cadence: 238 rpm
  • Calories: 109,672 C

The Gats

Also, here is my last trip up to Gatineau Park. I hope to do this trip more often so I can improve my hill climbing. It's tough but I enjoy it!

3000

So I said that I hoped to complete 6,000 km on the bike this year. Here are my numbers year-to-date:

  • Count:76 Activities
  • Distance:3,049.14 km
  • Avg Distance:40.12 km
  • Time:107:35:17 h:m:s
  • Avg Time:01:24:56 h:m:s
  • Elevation Gain:7,964 m
  • Avg Speed:28.3 km/h
  • Avg HR:149 bpm
  • Avg Bike Cadence:85 rpm
  • Max Bike Cadence:238 rpm
  • Calories:67,063 C

Squarespace

As you can see I've moved my site to a new provider with many more features - Squarespace. I have a lot of customizing I want to do but that may have to wait for some weekends with bad weather. I really like what I see so far.

Sunlight

I just read this over at Businessweek. Ray Kurweil:

Solar power actually is doubling every two years and has been for 20 years. Regardless of all the political debates, the actual output in watts has been doubling every two years. It's eight doublings away from meeting 100 percent of our energy needs. So when I presented this to the Prime Minister of Israel, he said, "But do we have enough sunlight to do this with?" I said, "Actually, we have 10,000 times more than we need." After we double eight more times and can meet all of our energy needs with solar, we'll be using one part in 10,000 of the sunlight that falls on the earth.

Un. Be. Lievable.

5000

Today i accomplished my goal of riding 5000 km for the season. I'm pretty happy but now I have to set a new one for next year! I think 6000 should be possible if I extend my weekend rides a little. Anyway, here are the details:

  • Count: 127 Activities
  • Distance: 5,001.41 km
  • Avg Distance: 39.38 km
  • Time: 174:55:25 h:m:s
  • Avg Time: 01:22:38 h:m:s
  • Elevation Gain: 16,962 m
  • Avg Speed: 28.6 km/h
  • Avg HR: 144 bpm
  • Avg Bike Cadence: 86 rpm
  • Calories: 136,210 C

Photo Site Update

Just update my main photo site here to work with the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android phones. If you like it, shoot me a comment or email.

RIP Parker

Parker passed away yesterday. RIP, my best friend.

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