The devil’s in the detail


Some key lessons I’ve learned or been reminded of in the past two weeks:

  • Punctures will strike when you least expect it.
  • No matter how many bright flashing lights you attach to yourself and your bike, there will still be someone out there who wants to drive over the top of you in order to get to the red traffic light first.
  • People leave all kinds of things behind on trains. According to the friendly conductor on the Portrush line this week, this can range from umbrellas to mobile phones to items of clothing – and occasionally babies in buggies. Who knew?
  • Preparation is key. This is an area of weakness for me, and one I am working very hard to overcome. Cycling & public transport inevitably require a little more preparation than just jumping in the car – and trains don’t wait for you. I’m working hard on getting things ready the night before.
  • Cycling on the Lagan towpath at 8pm in January is really hard when your static light dies unexpectedly.

How I worked it all out…20160113_215212

So on to my savings for January so far. A few things to clarify first.

  • I have kept my personal travel & work travel separate.
  • I am only counting travel from place to place. If I go for a run, or take my bike out for a spin just for fun, this does not count. It’s all about journeying from one place to another.
  • My personal mileage has been worked out at a rate of 42p per mile. I arrived at this figure using This Is Money . This allowed me to incorporate all of the costs associated with running a car – insurance, maintenance, parking, depreciation, tax, etc – and not just the basic fuel costs.
  • My work mileage has been worked out at a rate of 39p per mile, as this is the rate currently offered by my employer.
  • I have worked out my CO2 emissions using a Sustrans Travel Calculator, which works out emissions based on distance travelled, and mode of transport.

So on to the results. 

Total Mileage Covered (01-15 January 2016)


Financial Expenditure & Savings (01-15 January 2016)


This is a personal financial saving to myself of £68.13, in just two weeks of being car-free. If I was to maintain this level of travel through the whole year, that would equate to an annual saving of over £1600. Definitely worth a shot! The financial saving to my employer in mileage claims would be over £2100.

CO2 Emissions & Savings (01-15 January 2016)

CO2 Emissions

According to  YouSustain, my total CO2 emission savings over the past two weeks are enough to provide the energy needs of an average home for 4.37 days. If I extrapolate this to the year, it’s the energy needs of a house for over 100 days. Not too shabby.



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