Commuter Experiment 2011
By Michael Barreyro DRBC/SAP
It was a nice, sunny morning for the Bike to Work Week Commuter Experiment. I enjoyed a pleasant 8 mile, 30 minute bicycle ride to Onalaska from the central area (The Village/K-Mart) of La Crosse because I had to be the bus commuter. Once the bus got to Onalaska City Hall, the experiment was on. Ken headed to his car, Jody and Pat took off on their bicycles, and I loaded my bike on the bus rack and got on the bus. We departed at 8:17 as we all headed towards work.
As I headed down Hwy 35/2nd Ave on the Onalaska bus, I saw to my left Pat and Jody as they were just getting passed the Onalaska Public Library. The bus made good time to the transfer point on the N. side of La Crosse(Clinton and Caledonia). Once I took my bike off the Onalaska bus, the downtown bus had just arrived and I was able to quickly place my bike on its bike rack. The downtown bus had a lot more people in it, and we made about 4-5 stops to pick up people along the route. The bus even waited an extra minute or two for a man to run and catch up to the bus.
Once downtown, I took my bike off the bus rack and pedaled two blocks to the office bicycle racks. I walked to the lobby and I saw Ken getting his morning coffee at River Rocks. I took advantage of the free coffee special for bike commuters, and it was only a few minutes later that Pat and Jody arrived.
|Onalaska City Hall||SAP Office|
|Car (Ken Beutler)||8:17||8:31|
|Bus (Michael Barreyro)||8:17||8:40|
|Bicycle (Pat Nitti and Jody Roes)||8:17||8:46|
Looking at the arrival times, getting to work by car is definitely the faster commute. If you want to combine your commute with a workout, go by bike. The bus is a good option for those who may want to ride just one-way, or for those who live farther out than Onalaska but still want to get biking in. I think next year, we’ll have to recruit a boat commuter to be part of the experiment.
Editors Note: Using Google Maps the most direct route for the car would have been about 5.7 miles. While the bike was a few minutes slower I think that taking 15 minutes extra on your morning and evening commute is a great way to actually enjoy your commute, more than just a workout. Plus with gas hanging around $4 a gallon right now it is certainly a lot cheaper.